It’s a no-brainer that no one should take the authorities or the laws of the land lightly. But many of us do, knowingly or unknowingly. We park where we shouldn’t just because we won’t be long and throw snack wrappers everywhere except the trash cans.
While nobody in their right mind is out to break the law, many do either because they take it lightly or they are unaware. In fact, research suggests that the average American unintentionally breaks the law at least three times a day.
However, it’s one thing not to know what you’re doing and another to take these violations lightly.
One of the reasons people don’t take some laws seriously is because they appear trivial. In Oklahoma, that could land you in a lot of trouble.
In this post, we highlight some Oklahoma laws you should never take lightly:
1. Profane Language
If your vocabulary is coarse, you may want to tame your tongue while in Oklahoma because the law here isn’t tolerant of profanity.
You may not think it’s a big deal to throw a swear word or two in public, but that’s an offense in Sooner State that would cost you $100 in fines. That’s a steep penalty to pay for bad language.
The law goes a step further, imposing a one-dollar fine for every offense where God’s name is taken in vain.
Eavesdropping and telling tales is a distasteful but rather harmless behavior, right?
Not according to section 21-1202 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
You would be guilty of a misdemeanor if caught loitering around other people’s property with the intention of eavesdropping on private conversations.
Basically, you don’t want to take chances since it’s up to the authorities to determine whether you intended to distribute your findings and cause annoyance or harm.
3. Weed Possession
Marijuana use is super popular in the country for many reasons. In some states, walking around with a joint and lighting it up when the need arises is completely legal.
But not all states have legalized the drug regardless of the popularity and the heavy push for legalization.
Oklahoma is one of the states where marijuana for recreational purposes is still illegal.
If you’re found in possession of weed that wasn’t obtained through the legal medicinal route, you could receive a misdemeanor charge. The charge attracts a fine of $10,000 or a jail term of up to 1 year.
So, if you’re visiting from states like California and New York, where marijuana possession is legal, it would be best to lay off weed until you get back home.
4. Online Harassment
Any form of harassment, whether physical or via phone calls, is a criminal offense in Oklahoma.
What you may not know is that harassment extends online as well.
It’s easy to take lightly the comments you make on social media, but in Oklahoma, obscene or threatening messages, even those made on social platforms, can be prosecuted.
First-offense harassment charges are usually considered a misdemeanor. But if you’ve already had a few hits on your record, you could end up with a felony charge.
5. Scene of a Crash
Traffic laws everywhere in the country don’t favor hit-and-run. But many people get away with minor incidents like knocking over mailboxes or damaging fire hydrants.
In Oklahoma, driving away from a crash scene is a bad idea, even if the accident seems minor. If your vehicle hits someone or something, you must stay put to offer aid in case of injuries.
You may be tempted to drive off if you haven’t injured anyone. That would be considered a hit-and-run, which can attract a criminal charge because you’ve failed to comply with the requirements under Oklahoma Statute § 10-104.
If the crash has caused noticeable damage, the smartest thing to do is remain at the crash site and provide the information below:
- Full name
- Registration information
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license, if requested by authorities
It’s not wise to take any law in Oklahoma lightly, as it’s one of the strictest states in the US when it comes to sentencing.
Sure, you may simply end up with a misdemeanor conviction for seemingly petty offenses. But if you’re ever hit with a felony conviction, you won’t be entitled to the leniency that usually comes with being a first offender.