Legally Élan:

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by Oakland Lawyer

Some people consider themselves to be well informed and law abiding citizens.  However, even the most law abiding citizens can break a law, if they have no idea it exists.  Here’s a list of laws in California you might not be aware of.

The following activities are expressly prohibited

  1. Wearing two ear buds while driving a vehicle, this includes a bicycle. CVC 27400.
  2. Turn your wipers on without turning on your headlights. CVC 24400 (B).
  3. Smoking marijuana while driving. HS11362.4(a).
  4. Driving a bicycle under the influence of alcoholic beverages.  CVC 21200.
  5. Tinting your front windows. CVC 26708(a).
  6. Stopping on the freeway to make a call. CVC 21718 (a).
  7. Mounting your GPS in the center of your windshield. CVC 26708.
  8. Only having one license plate on anything except motorcycle or big rig tractor. CVC 5200(a).
  9. Driving faster than 55, when towing a trailer.  CVC 22406.
  10. Traveling in other than the far right lane with three or more axles, or when towing, except to pass, or continue on your path of travel.  CVC 22348(c).
  11. Putting your seat belt under your shoulder. CVC 27315.
  12. Mounting red or blue lights to the front of your vehicle. CVC 24003 and CVC 25950.
  13. Modifying your exhaust to make it louder than the manufacturer did.  CVC 27151 (a).

Also, did you know that the law allows an officer to accept proof of insurance from a mobile electronic device, like your phone or tablet.  CVC 16028(a).

Many new laws go into effect each year.  Sometime so many it’s hard to keep track.  In 2017, 898 new laws went into effect.  So you might have missed a few.  Here are some that you might have missed.

  • Minors cannot be charged with an infraction or misdemeanor for fare evasion. PC 640(g).
  • Single use bathrooms are gender neutral, and require signage as such, effective March 1, 2017. HS 118600.

And sometimes people are just misinformed about the law.  For example, many people have heard the term “common law marriage.” As of today, there are only 8 states where you could start a common law marriage today.  Jurisdictions that allow the creation of common law marriage as of 2017 are: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and the District of Columbia. And of course, each state has their own rules for what makes a common law marriage, so it’s not one size fits all.  But more importantly, if you never lived in any of those places, you could not have created a common law marriage under their laws.

Special thanks to the California Highway Patrol, Oakland Office and its Public Information Officer, Sean Wilkenfeld, for taking the time to answer our questions.

The information provided in this article is not legal advice, does not constitute a solicitation and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by reading this article.

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