New York Criminal Attorney: NY Criminal Defense – Bukh Law Firm

Strange And Unusual New York Criminal Laws & Statutes

Visit New York and break a law that most residents aren’t aware of and pay a fine. Statutes which may have had a legitimate purpose decades ago are still on the books. Apparently, NY’s city council is too busy figuring out ways to create traffic congestion to eliminate out-of-date laws. 

Some of the antiquated, but still on the books, laws include: 

Hurl A Ball

An individual is liable of “offensive exhibition” if they operate an event open to the public that includes someone “voluntarily giving in to indignities such as the throwing of balls at his head.” The law had its beginnings when carnival bosses would throw baseballs at carnies — carnival workers. Other sections of the statute forbid throwing knives at an individual or making them dance “without a break” for over eight hours. 

Don’t Sell (Some) Animal Fur

Part of New York’s anti-cruelty statutes includes one which makes it criminal to “import, sell, transport or market” dog or cat hair. Traffic in coyote, fox, lynx or wildcat furs and you’re okay. 

Flirting? $25 Please

Fluttering eyelids can cost $25. That’s the fine for flirting. The no-flirting edict was aimed at eliminating prostitution. 

Licensed Clotheslines

If New York’s Thin Blue Line decided to tighten up on this law still on the books, half of Brooklyn would be locked up. While most states are withdrawing clothesline limitations as they are now seen as eco-friendly, New York still calls them an eyesore. 

No Selfies With Tigers

Since 2014, take a selfie with a Tiger and pay a $500 fine. Manhattan Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal brought the action to stop maulings at circuses and fairs where the general public is permitted to snuggle up to large cats. 

No Puppet Show

It is unlawful to operate a puppet production in a window. Section 10-114 of the city code nails those who use “any window or open space” in any house for a puppet (or other figures) performance. Host a puppet show and pay a $25 fine and face up to thirty-days in jail. 

Ice Cream On Sundays

Theoretically, sweet-toothed outlaws used to avoid the city’s blue laws against consuming ice cream on Sundays. When spotted by a passing cop, the hardened criminal would stick their cone in their pocket. 

One Mask To A Person

Watch the parade of costumed panhandlers in Times Square, and you wouldn’t believe it’s unlawful for two or more mask-wearing persons to gather in public. New York Penal Law 240.35 outlaws two or more persons congregating while wearing a mask or any face covering which blocks or hides their identity.