Wondering if there are some weird laws in Florida?
Most of us have heard the crazy stories about the abundance of whacky laws that every state still has on their books. More than anywhere, this is true in the mid-western frontier states. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, as North American settlers began to get the real estate itch and started moving westward in the footprints of exploration pioneers Lewis and Clark, it quickly became necessary for our budding civilization to adopt some impromptu legislation that solved immediate problems, without really giving much thought to legislative longevity.
That’s why such things as cattle-rustling, offenses that would hardly be misdemeanors if committed today, were punishable by death back in those days. And there weren’t any humane considerations, air-conditioned jails, or 20 years’ worth of appeals either. In those days if the Marshall was convinced you were guilty you were either shot to death on the spot, or publicly hung a short while later—often the same day.
You also hear a lot about crazy laws that are still on the books in the statutes of the thirteen original colonies, which kinda makes sense too. But there never is much talk about the crazy laws that exist in Florida. Did you ever wonder why that is? I sure did.
So, I decided to find some of them worth talking about, and here are 24 crazy laws in Florida you should know about!
24 Weird Laws in Florida You Probably Should be Aware of!
1. It is illegal to feed alligators
Just like the sign says, yes, Florida Statute 372.667 absolutely exists. The law basically says that it’s illegal to feed wild alligators or crocodiles in the State of Florida. This statute is part of the Wildlife Conservation Act of Florida and was put on the books to make it more criminally punishable for people to try to hunt, trap and kill gators and crocs for their hides (they do make some cool looking and very durable, waterproof boots though).
Be that as it may, the old laws against trapping were only effective if the poachers were successful in catching or killing at least one animal. With the addition of statute 372.667, it became illegal to ever try to hunt or ‘molest’ these creatures while in their natural habitats.
The unfortunate choice of verbiage in the original law was fortunately changed in 2006 and now officially reads “to feed or entice” instead of molest. If you ask me, the first one sounded a whole lot worse and brought about some insane images of toothless swamp-dwellers attempting unspeakable acts with some of natures deadliest predators. I’m not sure, but I think there’s a decent novel in there somewhere.
2. It is illegal to fart in any public place in the state of Florida – but only after 6:00 PM.
If you’re going to be visiting the Sunshine State anytime soon, I would sincerely suggest staying away from too many baked beans unless you’re planning to stay home or in your hotel room that night. That’s because, as the cruelty of fate would have it, it’s illegal to fart in any public place in the state of Florida –but only after 6:00 PM.
I don’t know if I’m more intrigued because someone took the time to write up a piece of legislation about farting in public, because many other people actually voted in favor of passing that bill and making it a law in the State of Florida, or that, for some reason, they saw fit to make the law effective only after 6:00 PM.
What the hell, as long as I can publicly float an unlimited amount of air biscuits right up until 5:59:59, I’m good. Even Dracula had his curfew, now I’ve got mine. Talk about weird laws in Florida.
3. It is illegal to sell oranges on along public roadways in Miami Beach
If you plan on visiting Miami Beach, make sure you aren’t doing it with a trunk-full of oranges. That’s because there is a local ordinance making it illegal to sell the State fruit along public roadways in Miami Beach. If you do, and you get caught, your apt to get a ‘juicy’ fine. Yes, I know that was a tacky joke, but I just had to. It could have been worse, it could have been a bad O.J. Simpson parody instead.
This is one of those laws I can’t really imagine why anyone would take the time to bother making a law in the first place. The only thing my twisted mind can come up with has to do with Florida being pretty much the orange capital of the planet. Because it is, most of the largest orange growers and orange juice making companies call the state home.
Since, to the best of my knowledge, it’s not possible to trademark a piece of fruit, and nobody can claim infringement or plagiarism against someone who owns oranges and then sells them to others, maybe these mega-billion dollar companies gave enough in local campaign contributions to ‘entice’ (see item number 1 and see if you get the joke) the local legislature in Miami Beach to at least outlaw peddling the delicious fruit under their noses.
4. No selling your kids for extra cash
In case you didn’t know, or were wondering, yes, it is against the law to sell your children in the state of Florida. Of particular note, however, is that this statute doesn’t even mention if it’s also illegal to sell someone else’s children.
Perhaps more oddly, the way the statute is worded, it is illegal to sell your children for ‘cash.’ As mush as I hate to say it, I am quite certain that from a legalistic point of view, there are several of you reading this that believe this ‘loophole in the law’ opens up some intriguing possibilities for you (shutters noticeably).
I’m hoping that this wasn’t an oversight on the part of the Florida legislators and that they rationalized the selling of other people’s children is covered under some other statute, so it wasn’t necessary here, though of course, I can’t be sure of this.
All I can say is, if it is legal to sell someone else’s kids in Florida (for something other than cash), I would gladly barter all three of my ex’s kids for about 100 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups …. what’s that you say? Oh, alright….make it 50, cheapskate, but I don’t do refunds when you decide they’re pests.
5. And no, you can’t engage in dwarf tossing either in case you were wondering
Apparently, I’m in a lot of trouble if I ever go to Florida. That’s because I just found out that Dwarf Tossing is seriously frowned upon in the Sunshine State. No, that wasn’t a typo, you read it correctly. You know, dwarfs? little people? Yeah, those.
According to Florida law, if you own a bar or pub and anyone on the premises engages in the sport of Draft Tossing, all persons involved are in a lot of trouble. Fines, arrests, and serious jail time are all on the table if you get caught participating in this nefarious activity anywhere in Florida.
Those bastards. Next thing you know, they’re going to want to outlaw midget mud wrestling! How do they expect these young millennials to make it through puberty? Ans what’s with all these laws regarding little people? Pretty soon, Florida’s going to outlaw watching The Wizard of Oz because of the exploitation of The Lollipop Guild.
6. If you are convicted of a crime that is later repealed – you are still on the hook
Probably the worst thing I found in my research into crazy Florida laws isn’t even a statute. No, it’s so ingrained into the very fabric of Florida law that they made it part of the State of Florida Constitution!
When I read it, I had to read it a few times just to make sure I was getting it right—I was. As it happens, Chapter X – Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Florida states very clearly that the state has no retroactivity for repealed laws!
That means, if you’re convicted of a crime in Florida, and that crime is later repealed (this means it no longer is a crime under Florida law), you’re still on the hook for your crime since it was a crime when you did it.
This really makes me think of all those people in Florida with marijuana convictions who have been thinking that once weed became legal in Florida, all their convictions would be overturned. Sorry folks, welcome to Florida!
7. No drunk singing in a swimsuit
We all know (at least most of us do) that we have to be careful if we decide to consume copious amounts of alcohol while in a public place. In Florida, public intoxication usually occurs on a beach since the giant peninsula state has some 825 miles of them.
Because most publicly loaded folks in Florida are on a beach, there’s also a better than average chance that most of those happy beachgoers are wearing some kind of swimsuit. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this in principle, unless of course you’re one of those people who feels operatically inclined when you’ve had a few too many.
We all know at least one of these. Those people who magically transform into karaoke kings and queens as soon as their blood alcohol content tops .02. I only mention this because, as luck would have it, singing in the Sunshine State (even drunken karaoke) is fine—that is, unless you’re wearing a swimsuit.
That’s right if your bikini clad girlfriend of the week decides she’s Adele after her second Mojito, there’s a good chance you’re going to need to pay a fine, or possibly post bail if she’s obnoxious enough.
8. It is illegal to fall asleep under a hairdryer.
It’s also very highly recommended that you don’t take the aforementioned girlfriend of the week to a salon the next day after her ill-advised sand opera.
That’s because falling asleep while under a hairdryer is just as much against the law in Florida as public singing in a swimsuit is. Sadly, this behavior could very easily end up getting both her, and the hairdresser, fined heavily. Fortunately for all of us, unless there’s a cop that happens to be sitting in the next chair, I imagine most people get away with this ‘crime.’
9. You must pay at a meter for not only your car but also your elephant
In the event you decide to ride your elephant, your gator, your pig, your horse, or even your riding lawnmower to a location in Florida that has metered parking, you would be well advised to feed the iron beast.
That’s because –yep, you guessed it—Florida law requires that any animals or moving vehicles that are parked in a metered parking area must be paid for. Hmmmm.
But what’s most concerning here is that the statute specifically names animals like elephants and pigs. Horses I might be able to understand, especially if it were an old law, however, last time I checked, there weren’t too many parking meters back in the days of early colonization when horses were the primary mode of transportation.
10. Licenses are required to make skateboarding tricks
Are you known for working hard to ‘make’ a ‘trick’? If you know what that sentence really means, chances are you’re either a skateboarder, a big fan of the sport, or are closely related to someone who fits in one of the first two groups.
If that describes you, or someone you care about, you’re going to want to take care–or tell them to take care–before practicing the hobby anywhere in the state of Florida. That’s because Florida is the only state in America that requires skateboarders who are working to ‘make’ their ‘tricks’ to apply for and obtain a special license to do so in any place that isn’t a dedicated skateboarding park.
Unlike a driver’s license, in Florida, skateboarders are considered pedestrians, however, when applying any kind of device with wheels on it, the same types of ‘special vehicle’ rules apply to the public use of the skateboard as would apply to say, driving your riding lawnmower to the local convenience store to buy a six pack…uhm, of Pepsi….yeah, that’s it, Pepsi.
11. It is illegal to do anything that might offend your granny
Most people who watch police procedurals on television have heard of legal concepts such as ‘disorderly conduct’ or perhaps even the more technical sounding ‘disorderly persons offenses.’ These offenses are often things like bar fights, drinking in public, possession of an open container of alcoholic beverages, etc. That’s true in most places in America—most places except Florida, that is.
Unlike other states, Florida has statute 877.03 which establishes that you can be charged with a 2nd-degree misdemeanor in Florida if it’s determined that you do something they refer to as ‘outraging the sense of public decency’ or something else they refer to as ‘affecting the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them.
This is basically Florida-specific legalese for what they call ‘corrupting the public’s morals.’ In short, this means that you’re guilty of a crime if you do anything in front of anyone who’s sense of decency might be offended by what they saw (or heard) you do. Things like playing music too loud, shooting a gun near someone’s house, setting off fireworks near someone’s house, or the traditional items like fighting.
As far as what constitutes ‘corrupting the public’s morals?’ Your guess is as good as mine.
12. Men are prohibited from wearing strapless dresses in public places
If you happen to be one of those men who sincerely cares about fashion, you might want to pay particularly close attention to this one. Apparently, Florida has a little-known statute that prohibits men from wearing strapless dresses in public places.
I know this might seem like a bummer to some of you, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The good news here is that the statute only applies to strapless dresses specifically. That means that men are free to wear any other kind of dress they might like –either in public, or anyplace else for that matter.
Just be sure to shave closely or wax if you do. Otherwise, you violate a whole different set of laws that don’t only exist in Florida.
13. Be sure that you adhere to the mobility of pigs laws
If you know anyone who happens to own pigs (believe it or not, potbellied pigs are popular pets in southern states—including Florida) you might want to make sure they are aware of this next whacky law. Believe it or not, at the behest of extreme animal rights activists, Florida has adopted a law that protects the mobility of pigs, particularly female pigs, while they are pregnant.
Come to find out, unless the pregnant pig is getting restrained for veterinary purposes or is entering the pre-birth phase of the delivery, it is against the law to tie it up or keep it in a cage or do anything that restricts the movements of the pig.
It’s so tempting to make bad bacon jokes here, but I’m not gonna. I would be a real ham, if I did something like that, and I’m just not that full of sausage.
14. Public building doors are required by code to open outward.
This next one is perhaps less strange than some of the others, but it’s still pretty odd in its own right. That is, that all public building doors are required by code to open outward.
The law specifically states that this is because of the frequent extreme weather conditions the state often has to deal with, and that’s fair enough I suppose.
Though it also seems to make sense that in the event of other potentially catastrophic events like fires, earthquakes or active shooter scenarios would all benefit from having doors that open outward to facilitate the expedited departures of a whole lot of screaming people who become suddenly convinced that being outside is better than being in.
15. It is illegal for unmarried women to parachute on Sundays
Now back to the weirdness. If skydiving is your cup of tea, you’ll want to listen closely, particularly if you usually prefer to skydive on the weekends.
Why, you ask? Because Florida has a law on the books that makes it not just illegal, but highly illegal, for unmarried women to parachute on Sundays. Once again, that was not a typo, and you did not just misread that. Yes, it is illegal for unmarried women to parachute on Sundays.
Why only women? Why only unmarried women? And why only on Sundays? Something tells me, whoever uncovers the answers to these critical questions will be that much closer to solving the deepest secrets of the universe.
16. No sex with a porcupine
To be sure, there are several other of these laws on the books in Florida, but for this last one, I knew I had to pull out all the stops. Care to take a guess? No? Okay then, I’ll tell you.
I know this is going to be a serious disappointment to many of you reading this, but he fact of the matter is, Florida has passed a law that makes it against the law to have any sort of sexual relations with a porcupine.
Oh, the horror! Say it ain’t so! But alas, sadly it is so. Sorry to all of you porcupine aficionados.
17. Beauty salons cannot advertise skin care services that have any relationship to massages
Yes thats right Fl Sta. 0265 makes it illegal for a beauty salon to advertise any skin care services that have any relationship to massages
Are they trying to tell us something here?
18. Don’t falsely accuse a guy of being a baby daddy
Criminal penalties apply if you accuse the wrong dude of being the parent of your child according to Sta. 742.108.
So we would advise carefully informing a guy of their parentage only when you are 100% sure.
20. If you go swimming – heed the weeds
If you do decide to take a dip in Florida stunning natural springs or beaches, make sure you do not interfere with the weeds or plants.
According to Fl Sta. 369.20 (7) you actually need a license to remove any weeds from Florida’s waterways. Make sure to tell the kids!
21. It may be illegal to make a prank call = another weird law in Florida
You might also find yourself in a bit of hot water if you decide to make a prank call in Florida. Sta. 817.487 indicates you can’t intentionally deceive, defraud, or mislead the recipient of a call.
So keep the prank calling to a minimum, please.
22. You cannot tell people your souvenirs are From Florida or Fresh from Florida
Sta. 571.29 makes it a criminal act to claim your souvenirs are “From Florida” or “Fresh From Florida.” You are only allowed to do so if you are registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture.
23. School kids can’t miss more than 15 days in 90
If you are moving to the Sunshine State, you might be interested to know that kids can’t miss more than 15 days in 90 according to Sta. 1003.27.
So if you have some naughty teens who often skip school, Florida might be a good place to move them.
24. In case you were planning it, strictly no bear fights
Fl. Sta. 828.122 makes it illegal to engage in bear fights. It does sound pretty ridiculous to the average person, how would one go about fighting bears anyway?
But we do see the point of this law – we are all about the protection of animals.
Well, that’s it for this list of 24 of the most sensationally weird laws in Florida. There’s a good chance we will be publishing more of these in the near future, so we hope you’ll like and follow our page and check back frequently for new posts like this one, or maybe even better ones.