Gun in holster on officer's hip

I will open this article with a disclaimer: DO NOT TAKE LEGAL ADVICE FROM A COMEDY WEBSITE OH MY GOD PLEASE DON'T EVER DO THAT.

With that out of the way, I would like to fill you in on a few legal matters that are worth noting for any discerning individual. Some are legal misconceptions, others are things that might land you in a prison cell next to a guy named Fuckmissile without you having any idea why.

1. You Can Totes Go Topless

A little bit back, New York made headlines when it announced that it was now legal to let your chesticles out to play in public. Well, it made headlines on really slow news days. But unfortunately for them, they're woefully behind the times. Almost Victorian, really, in their sensibilities regarding lady chest bubbles, because nationally, toplessness is fairly legal.

As of the writing of this article, the only places where boobies are considered an outright crime by state law are Tennessee, Utah, and Indiana. Now, a few other states have some rather…open interpretations of the law, but a total of 33 states in this fine union have decreed that breasts shall not go quietly into the night!

But, before all of you ladies and overly chest-endowed men rip off your bras and go prancing through the streets (and because I am so in touch with women, I know you are all clearly just waiting to do that), you need to know that individual counties and cities are more than allowed to make their own rules regarding cleavage showing.

Because I have too much free time and access to Google, I can assure you that plenty of towns across the nation are more than accommodating to your right to have a more interesting chest than men though. Just check your local ordinance, and if a cop gives you trouble, ask him to cite where exactly it says that you aren't allowed to do that.

Check out gotopless.org for some real information. (Note: Site has a lot of pictures of boobs…so, uh, NSFW, I guess. Unless you work there. Then I guess it's kind of the point.)


2. Just Because You Weren't Read Your Miranda Rights, Doesn't Mean You're Getting Away With It

The single most annoying thing I ever see on cop shows (which I watch way too many of because I'm not very discerning with my free time), is when someone gets off the hook for a blatant crime simply because the arresting officer forgot to read them their Miranda Rights.

This does not happen in real life.

I regret to inform you that your cousin was lying when he said he knew a guy who's uncle's dentist got away with grand theft auto because the cop who busted him didn't read him his rights. I know. It hurts. And it seemed like such a trustworthy story.

"But Cole," you ask, because even after all this time you're still weirdly intent on butting into my articles, "they wouldn't just make that up for the sake of television! That's got to be a technicality that people actually get off on!"

First off, shut the hell up, it really kills my ego-boner when other people interrupt me talking down to them, and another, no, it's not real.

Those rights are read to a person about to be interrogated, because in our judicial system, everyone has the right to be informed that if they violently curse out a confession while dripping another man's blood in the back of a police cruiser, that will be used as evidence against them when they go to court.

So basically, if you've ever heard of a technicality involving Miranda Rights, it was likely that a suspect let slip a vital piece of evidence whilst being arrested, but because the arresting officer never informed him of his rights, it couldn't be used as evidence.

The police can arrest you without reading you those rights, because if a dozen witnesses and multiple video recordings suggest that it's you who's been sodomizing the jungle gym at the local elementary school, then they don't really need to worry about any information you might leak while you try and close the clasp on your trench coat.


3. Jaywalking Isn't Always Illegal

Okay, as annoying as we can all agree cyclists are, I think we can all take a step back and say that people with legs are pretty douchey too. Damned pedestrians, walking wherever they please! (Full disclosure: I have never owned nor operated a motor vehicle of any kind. I commute entirely by means of walking, Razor Scooters, Heelys, and rainbows. All but that last thing were true.)

And you'll usually hear those smarmy bastards ranting about how pedestrians always have the right away.

They don't.

Now, don't go dusting off the Skull Mauler just yet (I assume that, like me, all of my readers keep a Combine Harvester/Diesel Powered Armored Personnel Carrier in their garage in order to mow down all footwalkers on the day all footwalking privileges get revoked. And you named it the Skull Mauler), because, as utterly bullshit and unfair as it may seem, if you hit a pedestrian, you will still get in trouble. Now, in certain places, like in places where pedestrians don't have the right of way (more on that in a second) they could very well get in trouble after they've been carted off to the hospital, and if you have a very good lawyer in those circumstances, you may be able to get the charges against you overturned. May.

Where are these magical places where those bastards don't have the right of way? Well, nationally, the only places where they don't have those rights are places where pedestrians aren't allowed to be in the first place, such as highways. But on the state level, it gets a little grayer. Many states have laws that say if the speed limit hits a certain speed, then pedestrians lose the right of way. Sometimes it's low (35mph), sometimes it's higher (55mph).

But what about jaywalking?

Well, here's where you might be surprised to learn something.

Jaywalking isn't illegal in a buttload of places.

Again, I don't recommend that you run out and try this everywhere you can, but the fact of the matter is, in plenty of places, it's perfectly legal for a person to walk through the middle of the road.

Please don't be the asshole who does that.


4. Cops Can Legally Steal Your Shit

You know how you have things? And that you like having things? Well, cops like having things too. And sometimes they like having things that you have. But they don't so much like paying for the things you have. So they can just take your shit.

Legally.

It's a practice known as Civil Asset Forfeiture, and it happens a lot more than you might think (unless you think people like free things. Then it probably still happens more than you would think).

Thanks to totally factually accurate police drama shows, you're probably familiar with Civil Asset Forfeiture's brother, the more upstanding Criminal Asset Forfeiture.

Here's how it goes down:

Bad guy has things he uses to do bad things. Bad guy gets arrested. Cops take the things bad guy used to do bad things. Cops usually sell those things. Everyone is happy. Except for bad guy. He will go on to write large amounts of poetry from his cell. This will also be criminal.

And shazaam. It works. But here's where the problem arises. Sometimes, the bad guys like to use things that belong to other people to commit their dastardly schemes (I live in a movie from the 1920's, wherin "dastardly scheme" is still an appropriate way to describe the things that criminals do), and when they do that, the police are allowed, with total, legal immunity, to take your bullshit.

Here's how that goes down:

Let's say there's a gang of serial animal masturbators… that take animals, masturbate them into cars, then eat the animal. It's awful. Really bad. One day, the cops catch this gang. Everyone's happy. Except you, because the gang masturbated a particularly fertile orangutan in the back of your Civic. The cops take your car because the bad guys did bad things in there, and so it's part of the case.

And now they'll probably sell it. Because they can also do that.

Now, the law, in its infinite wisdom, does allow you to challenge a case of Civil Asset Forfeiture.

But the burden is on you to prove why it should be allowed to be yours again.

Bummer, man.


5. You Can Legally Print Your Own Currency

No, not counterfeiting. I've run extensive tests that have proved that this practice is still very much illegal, and I would like to give a shout out to any former associates who may be reading this article from inside of prison as a result of those extensive tests. And the shout out is, "You probably shouldn't trust people who post ads on Craigslist seeking assistant counterfeiters to not rat you out about all the counterfeiting."

What I'm talking about is your legal right to print your own currency, and suggest a value for it. Take Cole's Baby Back Fun Dollars for instance. I pay all of my local businesses with them, and they hate me for it, because I forgot both of the two very important steps to your own currency.

First off, it cannot bear any close resemblance to any existing currency, domestic or foreign. And since my money looks pretty close to American currency (if you look closely, all of the presidents are actually penises with funny wigs on), shops tend to get pissy when I pay with it.

Then they get even more pissy because I forgot the second rule of printing your own money: Backing the money with something valuable.

Gold is the international standard for backing currencies, but in theory you could use other forms, such as diamonds, tobacco, greasy back-alley Hardees blowjobs, or charcoal.

So let's say you manage to print your own bills (not coins; apparently that's still a no no. What the hell?), they look completely original (Freddie Mercury surfing on a laser over a volcano erupting more volcanoes), and you have a large stack of precious metals and gems in a vault in your mom's basement to back the currency with. Now what?

You gotta get people to accept the currency.

People in America have no reason (legal or otherwise) to accept non-American currencies. So if you can convince people of the value of your currency, and get them to take it in lieu of regular money, then you're home free.

Now, there are other rules and regulations regarding making your own currency, but that's the general gist. So go ahead, brush the dust off your crayons and get to work making the next great currency.

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