Weird Massachusetts Laws
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Weird Massachusetts Laws
Many states share common laws throughout the country, especially concerning divorce, criminal, or personal injury cases. Some state laws, however, have some unique—if not downright bizarre—laws on the books. Weird laws in Massachusetts could apply to you in certain scenarios of the Bay State.
Some of these weird Massachusetts laws are outdated and may not be presently enforced, but you never know if someone will try to reference these active laws to perform some legal trickery.
If you ever find yourself mixed up with weird Massachusetts laws, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free case evaluation to get answers.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
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What Are the Weirdest Laws in MA?
There are numerous laws in Massachusetts that are strange. For instance, at a wake, mourners are not allowed to eat any more than three sandwiches, per one statewide Massachusetts law.
Snoring is also prohibited—unless every bedroom window is securely locked and closed. Damaging a milk container or carton is punishable by a $10 fine, a humorous law given that most milk cartons come in plastic or glass jugs and are no longer the traditional paper carton.
In Boston, it is illegal to take a bath unless you've been instructed to do so by a physician, but it is also illegal in Boston to play the fiddle. Across the state, if you are caught eating peanuts in church, you can spend as long as one year in prison, and you're also required to have a license to wear a goatee on your face.
Even in the event of an emergency, it is illegal to deliver diapers on Sunday in Massachusetts, and in Provincetown, Massachusetts, you can't sell suntan oil after noon on a Sunday.
Unless there are two exits in a building, you're not allowed to keep a mule on the second floor. In Marlborough, it is illegal to sell, buy, or possess a squirt gun, and the city limits forbid silly string.
At the state level, it is illegal to put any tomatoes in clam chowder or to frighten a pigeon, and further, no gorillas are allowed in the backseat of a car. In Newton, there's a law on the books that says all families have to be given a hog by the town's mayor. Candy cannot contain any more than 1% alcohol per chapter 270 Section 8. This carries a fine of as much as $100.
You likely didn’t think that having a tattoo or a body piercing is illegal. Although this was repealed in 2000, this was relatively late to repeal a law over people's right to wear piercings and get tattoos.
One law states that you cannot cross Boston Common without carrying a shotgun in case you run across any bears. In Concord, you're not allowed to sell or distribute bottled water, and Marlborough has a specific rule that you are not allowed to detonate a nuclear device in the city.
Statewide, however, duels to the death are allowed on Sundays, so long as the governor is present.
What if I'm Accused of Violating a Weird Massachusetts Law?
Many of the laws on this list are highly unlikely to be enforced and are more a matter of interesting history, yet to be officially removed as obsolete. You may still find yourself dealing with allegations of criminal activity for any number of laws on the books relating to actual crime.
If you are accused of a crime, it is your responsibility to defend yourself against the situation. Note that being accused of a crime is not the only way you may find yourself in the midst of a lawsuit. If you're a business owner, you could find yourself in the midst of a partnership or other business conflict, and you can even be accused of both breaking the law and causing someone to suffer injuries if you cause an accident that leads to a personal injury lawsuit.
The legal team at Morgan & Morgan recognizes that while it may be fun to think about various weird laws in Massachusetts still on the books, there are many people who do suffer significant injuries and other damages because of someone else’s negligence—or even as a result of a violent crime or assault. For those victims, there is nothing funny about protecting their rights, and indeed their only opportunity to recover compensation may be working with a qualified team of personal injury lawyers. If you or a loved one are currently navigating this process and trying to figure out the best way to protect your legal rights, please know that you are not alone. Getting help is just a phone call away. Contact us today for more information.
If Someone Causes an Accident With Criminal Consequences, Does That Address My Damages?
There are some situations in which a person's actions may trigger both a criminal lawsuit and a personal injury lawsuit. One common example is when a person is drinking and driving or speeding excessively behind the wheel. If this causes an accident and the police are called to the scene to investigate, the officers will help injured parties to get medical assistance and to remove their car from the roadway to prevent further damages, but it may also be the case that an at-fault party is accused of causing the accident. This could lead to criminal charges.
Criminal charges are separate from civil allegations. If a person caused an accident that hurt you and is dealing with a DUI charge, that is a criminal matter separate from your personal injury claim. If you're filing a personal injury claim, you need an attorney who understands these concepts.
In addition to some weird laws on the books, there are also many laws in Massachusetts that are designed to protect people after accidents. While some of those laws may seem strange to you, they are in place to help protect victims who are suffering injuries or property damage because of another party's negligent actions.
What if I Am Accused of a Crime?
Criminal cases have to do with accusations from authorities of the law, such as police officers and prosecutors. In these criminal cases, they will need to show through a preponderance of the evidence and meet the burden of proof to show that you likely committed the crime. The standard of proof and evidence required, as well as the formal procedures in the courtroom, are slightly different between criminal and civil cases, although both of these situations may address common allegations in the claim.
Likewise, you may need a defense personal injury attorney if you wind up named in a civil claim. Civil claims would argue that you breached a duty of care owed to someone else, such as if you're a property owner who has dangerous conditions on your premises and failed to remove them before someone slipped and fell or if you are a driver who got involved in an accident because you weren't paying attention behind the wheel. All of these are serious circumstances that could damage you financially and make it more challenging for you to move on with your life after this situation.
The person who chooses to file a civil lawsuit is not the only individual who gets legal representation to argue their case. This is especially important if you are involved in a lawsuit in which the other party is partly or even fully responsible for the accident, since you will need to gather evidence to refute their claims to protect your rights. Each party can benefit from having experienced legal representation at their side, such as the attorneys working at Morgan & Morgan.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
No matter which side of weird Massachusetts laws you may find yourself, working with a skilled attorney can have significant implications for the outcome of your case. If you need help, advice, or information about your first steps in a case, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.
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