First of all: legalize! You know what I’m talking about. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at some other harmless offenses that are illogically illegl in our 50 great states. From fan fiction to Starbucks Wifi, here are 7 crimes that shouldn’t be crimes at all.
1. . Leaving Your Kid Home Alone
In Illinois, it is illegal to leave a child home alone until he or she is 14 years of age. Talking about a sheltered upbringing. The “babysitting law” varies state to state, but in nearly all of them it is illegal for a child to be out alone at night between 11pm and 6am.
2. . Screen-Names
Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was enacted in 1986, it's illegal to knowingly use a fake name on the Internet. I see where they’re coming from, but how am I supposed to catfish creepers on Tindr if I can’t disguise myself as LonelyGirl69? Then again, can you imagine what a better world YouTube would be if you had no choice but to use your real name?
3. . Logging In To Free Wifi
Speaking of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, it is technically illegal to log onto a wifi network without authorization, which means technically you could go to jail for something your phone is automatically programmed to do. One guy in Michigan faced a $400 fine for routinely taking advantage of a cafe’s free wifi without purchasing something from the establishment. Yikes.
4. . Betting Pools
March Madness Office Pools beware! I bet you didn’t know that under The Illegal Gambling Act of 1970, any wager that involves five or more people and $2,000 or more in a single day is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Better stick to the shallow end, kids!
5. . Singing Copywritten Songs In Public
Technically, any time you sing a copywritten song in public, you should be paying royalties. Most famously, this applied to the hit single “Happy Birthday” until it became public domain in 2016, which was why TGI Fridays made up their own bullsh*t version until now.
6. . Possession of a Sharpie
Possession of "broad-tipped indelible markers" in a public space is illegal, and in some states - including California, New York and Oklahoma - it is illegal for a minor to possess one at all. The law is intended to stop graffiti, but it also sucks when you’re spending the summer at sleep-away camp and just want to keep track of your underpants.
7. . Naked Selfies
Even in states where the age of consent is under 18, until you reach the age of maturity (which is 18), it is illegal to send a naked photo of yourself because doing so means having a sexual photo of a minor on your phone. That would make both parties technically sex offenders.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.