Crimes against public safety are those crimes that affect the public at large rather than specific individuals. If you're ever charged with a public safety crime, it's likely that you'll need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to defend you.
Public Safety Laws Protect Minors
No matter which part of the country you live in, your state government will have a number of alcohol- and tobacco-related crimes on its books that are meant to protect minors. Commonly, states do not allow selling or giving alcohol and cigarettes to a minor. In many cases, you can still be convicted even if the minor appears to be of age and you fail to check identification.
Disorderly Conduct Creates Public Safety Risk
If you act in a way that unnecessarily puts other people at risk, you can be charged with a public safety crime in many states. The most commonly used example of disorderly conduct is yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater when you know there is no such threat. Because people in the theater can suffer injuries as they trample over one another to escape, the criminal charges can be pretty serious.
Weapons Are Regulated to Preserve Public Safety
While it is legal for Americans to own guns and other weapons, many states have laws that heavily control gun ownership. Some laws do not allow certain people - like felons - to own guns. Others require a background check before you're allowed to own a gun. Some laws forbid specific types of weapons, or control when and where you are allowed to carry your weapon. In order to protect the public, these laws are usually strictly enforced. You can get in trouble even if you are unaware of the gun law and had no plan to hurt anyone.
Common Vagrancy and Loitering Crimes
Crimes that fall under the category of vagrancy or loitering include activities like urinating in public, appearing nude in public places, sleeping on the street, and even aggressively begging for money.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding crimes against public safety is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. We hope you found it useful. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a criminal defense lawyer.