The official first day of Summer is still weeks away, but we're already dreaming about beach vacations, cookouts, and fireworks. And while we're planning to have a lot of fun, we should also plan on knowing the legal limits of that fun. After all, the less involved the police are in our day, the more fun we can have. So, here's a quick review of some summer fun activities, whether they're legal, and what you need to know to stay out of trouble this summer.
If you're headed for some sun, sand, and surf this summer, make sure you're well-acquainted with local laws and ordinances. Regulations on trespassing, alcohol, and nudity can vary depending on whether you're on a private beach, public property, or a state or federal park.
The same might apply if you're just heading to your local park for a cookout with friends. Some public spaces may have blanket bans on booze, while other may only prohibit glass bottles and open containers. But public intoxication is pretty much illegal everywhere.
You're on vacation. You're just heading to the store and back. Or you just left your flip flops behind. There aren't many state laws saying you can't drive barefoot, but that doesn't mean it can't get you into trouble.
And what if you're just sticking out your thumb and looking for adventure on the road this summer? That could depend on where you're looking for a ride. While most states don't ban hitchhiking entirely, most set limits on where you can solicit a seat.
If you're heading to a state park overnight or hiking through a national forest, make sure you know whether you can bring weed with you, whether you can pack a gun, and which plants and animals can be on your dinner menu (and which are poisonous or protected species).
We all love to see the flash and hear the boom. So much so that we might want to take the fireworks show into our own hands. (Just be careful you don't lose a hand in the process.) And check state statutes first -- some ban all fireworks across the board, some only limit the type and time you can buy and use.
School may be out for summer, but the criminal justice system never sleeps. Make sure you and your kids know how to stay on the law's good side until Fall.
And if you do get into some legal trouble this summer, your first call should be to an experienced criminal defense attorney.