12 Weird Laws in California You Probably Don’t Know About

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You probably already know that you shouldn’t drink and drive in CA. And you shouldn’t commit theft or violent crime. These laws are well-known and obvious to everyone. 

But did you know that it might be a crime to drive too slowly? Or to cry on a witness stand? 

Yes, CA is home to some unusual – or downright baffling – laws. Here’s a look at 12 weird illegal laws in California you might break without realizing.

1. Driving Too Slowly

In CA, you should drive carefully, but not too carefully. In fact, you could get a ticket for driving too slow (Vehicle Code 22400). 

The penalty? At least $238, which is pretty steep.

2. Washing Your Neighbor’s Car

If you’re in LA, don’t wash your neighbor’s car without their permission. And you can’t park a car in the street to wash it unless it’s your car. It’s unclear what LA has against car washing, but you could be fined for flouting these rules.  

3. Driving a Car in a Housecoat

Here’s another weird driving law in California. When was the last time you drove in your housecoat? Don’t start now – it’s technically illegal (if you’re a woman, anyway). Swap the nightgown or bathrobe for an outdoor coat next time you head out early.  

4. Keeping Christmas Lights Up too Long

Yes, seriously. In San Diego, you face a fine if you have Christmas lights up after February. 

There’s no clear reason for the rule, but it seems to be about preventing electrical dangers. If we look at it this way, it could be sensible, but it might also be a little extreme.

5. Storing Things in Your Garage

Ever wanted to turn your garage into a storage locker? Well, if you’re in San Francisco, you can’t. According to the San Francisco Housing Code, garages are strictly for cars. Even if you own your home, you can’t store anything other than cars in your garage. 

It’s a pretty strict law – you could be fined for violating it. And technically, the section could exclude motorcycles, too.  

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6. Crying on the Witness Stand

In LA, it’s illegal to cry on the witness stand. The reasoning? It stops witnesses from emotionally manipulating the jury. 

You probably won’t be punished for the odd tear, but it’s unclear where we draw the line. This is one of the top weird laws in Bakersfield California and beyond. 

7. Playing Baseball

In Eureka, CA, it’s illegal to play baseball in a public place. 

The exception? You get express permission from the Director of Public Works. The Director will set out precisely when and how you can play the game. This might, admittedly, take some of the fun out of the sport. 

8. Flying Kits too High

Plan on flying a kite anytime soon? Don’t bother if you’re in Walnut, CA. City Code prohibits you from flying a kite more than 10 feet over the ground if it contains any metallic parts. This also includes novelty balloons such as those with long strings or tails. 

9. Driving in Reverse

If you’re in Glendale, you can’t drive your car in reverse. It’s unclear why you’d plan on driving down the street backwards, but it’s illegal anyway. It’s okay to back out of your driveway, though. 

As an aside, it’s also illegal to jump from your vehicle if it’s going at 65 mph or more. Again, we’re unsure who might try this, so it’s definitely a weird driving law in California. 

10. Annoying Lizards in Parks

If you’re in Fresno, leave those lizards alone. 

It’s an offense to both lizards minding their own business in Fresno public parks (Orig. Ord. 1076 Section 8-410). This includes pursuing, annoying, or launching anything at them. 

This section applies to any park animal, so just keep moving along if you see one. 

11. Playing a Trumpet to Lure Others

Ever thought about playing a trumpet to entice people into your store? Well, if you’re in Indian Wells, this is illegal. You can’t play trumpets to tout for business, so keep those instruments stored away. You can’t sing, either, if this is more your thing. 

12. Wearing a Mask Without Permission

If you’re in Walnut, masks or costumes are off-limits. Unless the sheriff gives you permission, you technically can’t wear a mask or disguise (including costumes) in public. This is an odd law which must be tricky to police around Halloween! (Walnut City Code 1959). 
While you probably won’t go to jail for breaking these laws, you can be arrested for breaking other ones. If your loved one is arrested and can’t afford bail, call Bail Hotline. Our experienced agents are on hand 24/7 to help secure their release as quickly as possible. Don’t hesitate to visit our offices in CA or call us to buy bail bonds now.

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