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Ah New York, there's really no way to fake the Empire State. And that's certainly true of its laws.

But even if you're not a native New Yorker and are just visiting or passing through, you should definitely have a basic understanding of New York's legal structures.

Don't be one of those out-of-town yokels who gets a ticket for texting while driving in Manhattan. Check out these 10 laws you should know if you're in New York:

Moving to the Golden State? Just visiting? Or maybe you've been a California native all your life.

California has a rich legal history, and because of it, the state has a unique set of laws. So before you decide to join the Raider Nation and grab some In-N-Out on the way to the beach, check out these 10 laws you'll want to know if you're in California:

Is it legal to text message at a stoplight?

By now, you're probably well aware that texting while driving is against the law pretty much everywhere, with every state except Montana having some form of texting-while-driving prohibition on the books.

But what about text messaging while behind the wheel of a car that isn't actually moving, such as a car waiting at a stoplight? Is that still considered "texting while driving"? Here's what you need to know:

Following a vote by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in favor of the idea last week, Pittsburgh became the latest of an increasing number of cities to share in the convenience, and controversy, of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

The PPUC granted 60-day temporary authority to operate to both Uber and Lyft last week, after the companies agreed to meet the commission's requirements to operate in the state, reports The Inquirer. Earlier this month, the Houston City Council voted to allow the ridesharing services to operate in Houston after placing their own insurance and access requirements on the companies, reports the Houston Press.

How have these ridesharing services managed to overcome the often substantial official resistance to operating in these and other cities?

It may seem like an easy way to save a couple of bucks: jumping the turnstile to get a free ride on the subway, or sneaking through the back doors of a city bus or streetcar.

But cities are beginning to crack down on transit fare evasion. In New York City, for example, fare-beating arrests -- as opposed to the less-serious ticket for fare evasion -- jumped 69 percent between 2008 to 2013, and they are on pace to increase even more this year, reports the New York Daily News. More than 37,000 of fare-evasion arrests in NYC have resulted in incarceration.

What can happen if you get cited for transit fare evasion?

Stopping for school buses isn't just polite, it's the law. And as many impatient drivers have learned the hard way, not giving school buses a wide berth can lead to some serious legal consequences.

In Minnesota, a truck driver was charged with two misdemeanors last week for failing to stop for a school bus, allegedly almost striking a sixth grader who was about to board, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. These incidents are more common than they should be, and drivers should be aware of the risks they run by not giving school buses the right of way.

So what legal consequences can befall a driver who doesn't stop for a school bus?

When a driver blocks traffic, it's not only irritating, it may be illegal.

Depending on the circumstances, blocking traffic may violate city or state traffic laws and may qualify as reckless driving. On the other hand, there are a variety of legal ways in which a driver can impede the flow of traffic without actually breaking the law.

So when is it illegal to block traffic?

Hitchhiking forms the backbone of American folk rock and horror films, and relies on the good intentions of drivers and hitchhikers alike. But state laws and federal regulations may prevent you from legally partaking in the American hitchhiking experience, if you're not too careful.

So is it legal to hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers? Here's a general overview:

Ignoring an unpaid parking ticket can have nasty consequences despite how ridiculous or petty you think the parking offense is.

Unpaid parking tickets, when left unresolved, can cause double or triple fines to be imposed, your car to be towed, and even your license to be suspended.

So don't just shove that parking ticket into your glove box. Here are a few things that can happen when you ignore unpaid parking tickets:

The U.S. Supreme Court is on summer break for the moment, but its next term begins in October with a handful of very interesting cases.

Beginning October 6, the nation's highest court will hear appeals involving issues of criminal law, prisoner's rights, labor law, class-action claims, and patent law.

Here's a preview of the Supreme Court's first 10 cases of the October 2014 Term: