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Is It Legal for Protesters to Block Traffic?

Blocking traffic is not legal and is not a new practice for protesters. When protesters block traffic, they are engaging in civil disobedience, a term coined by one of America's earliest freethinkers and intellectuals, Henry David Thoreau.

While nearly everyone caught in a traffic jam caused by protesters becomes upset due to the delay, it is important to recognize that reporting on traffic conditions is a mainstay of local news stations across the country, while protests often get ignored. Blocking traffic means at very least making the local traffic report.

Although organized protests or marches can obtain permits to close streets, frequently protesters move from the permitted areas. When protesters block highways or streets that they are not permitted to be on, they do risk arrest. However, police are loathe to arrest peaceful protesters, even when they block traffic. The recent protest in Washington D.C. blocked a busy intersection for 7 minutes, and there were no arrests reported.

Obviously criminals shouldn't profit from their crimes. And I think that we can all agree that a car used in a drive-by shooting or purchased with money from a bank robbery can be confiscated by police. But what about when law enforcement seizes assets before a criminal conviction, or before criminal charges are even filed?

Recent studies are showing law enforcement officials are taking advantage of civil forfeiture laws more than ever. In fact, citizens lost more property to police in 2014 than they did to burglars. And new information is coming to light indicating police are seizing assets from people without any proof of a crime. So how is all this even legal?

Getting pulled over is no picnic. But things can really go sideways if you don't know your rights -- you can either fail to enforce rights you do have or exacerbate the situation by claiming rights that you don't.

So the next time you get pulled over, make sure you're cool, calm, and collected and you're familiar with these three laws:

Bullet Control: What Types of Ammunition Are Illegal?

Gun control laws are a controversial topic that generally focus on the possession and sale of the guns themselves. But what about the bullets the guns fire? Proponents for stricter gun control laws also support regulating the types of ammunition available to the public, as well as who can sell and purchase ammunition. The idea of bullet control has been around since at least Chris Rock explained his solution to the gun violence problem (WARNING: linked video contains Adult Language).

Across the United States, each state is free to regulate guns and ammunition, as long as they don't run afoul of federal laws and the Second Amendment. Certain types of ammunition have been made illegal by several states as these types are seen as having no "sporting" value.

Car Modifications That Will Get You Pulled Over

If you're willing to violate your warranty and the law in order to install that aftermarket mod to make your cars go faster and look furious-er, just be ready to get pulled over for those awesome mods.

Certain performance modifications are completely legal, such as adding a spoiler, high performance suspension, ultra-light wheels, and even some performance engine components. However, sometimes seemingly minor car modifications are not only illegal, but will get you pulled over by the police.

Are Cops Drug Tested?

Many of us face drug tests when we apply for a job, even though it might not always be legal. Some states are drug testing welfare recipients with little to show for it but the bill. And athletes are drug tested seemingly around the clock, and can even be suspended for taking legal substances.

But what about police officers? Surely, the men and women we trust to make snap judgments in life-and-death scenarios are tested regularly for any drug or substance that might affect those decisions, right? The answer might actually surprise you.

NJ High Court Says Cops Can't Stop Drivers for Legal High Beam Use

A driver having the high beams on alone on an empty city street at night is not a valid basis for a traffic stop, at least not in New Jersey. The state's highest court affirmed rulings below, finding that the search of a passenger in a car stopped on an empty street, based on illuminated high beams, was not reasonable. The lights did not give the officer probable cause. As a result, the passenger's arrest on a number of charges is suppressed, reports

In the face of recent police shootings, almost everyone has an opinion. And while the First Amendment protects your right to say most things, even critiques of the police, freedom of speech does have its limits.

Those limits have been tested by some social media posts -- and the subsequent arrest of posters -- following the sniper attack that targeted police in Dallas. So what can you say about the cops on social media before they start knocking on your front door?

The 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland has been the site of countless protests and counter-protests by both demonstrators and delegates inside and outside the convention. And if you're wondering about the legality of these protests, we've got you covered. (If you're wondering about the legality of plagiarizing a speech, or using a band's song without permission, we've also got you covered, here and here.)

To make sure you don't violate the laws while making your voice heard, check out these five things you need to know about legally protesting, at conventions and elsewhere:

Can Police Force Catheterized Urine Collection in DUI Cases?

How determined should authorities be to collect evidence from a reluctant suspect? Should they be allowed to strap someone down on a hospital gurney and take urine using a catheter without the person's permission but with a warrant? What if the warrant doesn't specify catheterization but simply authorizes police to collect blood or urine generally?

These are the questions that one South Dakota defendant, Dirk Landon Sparks, is asking after undergoing a forced catheterization to collect his urine in a DUI case. He seeks to have the warrant quashed and the evidence against him suppressed, saying that the Constitution's Fourth Amendment reasonableness requirement makes no allowances for such an invasive procedure. Let's consider his claims.