Sometimes we are reluctant to admit it, but laws govern our lives a great deal.
Knowing your legal rights is both your civic responsibility as well as a guarantee of your personal security.
It does not matter whether you dealing with copyrighted material or interacting with the police.
If you do not want to get into trouble, below is short information on legal rights that relate to our everyday life.
Dos and Dont’s as a Driver
Do not use your cell phone while driving! Still, different states have different regulations about that. For the most part, however, texting is also banned while in some states any use of a phone is not allowed. So, check with your state laws and be aware of the penalties that are at place.
Want to drive with headphones on? Hold on, in some states, it is indeed illegal.
But what are your rights during a traffic stop? First, do not let the police search your vehicle without a warrant. You can film the traffic stop but do it appropriately. Because careless use of a camera and intervening in the investigation is enough to get you arrested.
Taking Photos and Videos
We all have had that awkward feeling. When we have the urge to take a snap of something in public but are not sure if it is allowed or not. In general, you are free taking photos in public. But if you post something that contains someone’s private information, then you are in trouble. Also better keep your camera away from sensitive government buildings such as military bases or nuclear facilities. Taking pictures there can be seen as a threat to national security. If you are on private property and the owner asks not to take pictures you should agree to their request.
If you are caught in a confrontation because of your camera, remain calm but refuse to hand it to anyone. Those who confiscate your camera by force can later be found guilty of theft and coercion. Private parties especially have little or no power to detain you.
You and the Police
This a topic for a whole another article, but let us dive into the basic legal rights that you have while interacting with police. Number one advice – always stay calm and cool. The second one which you are probably familiar with is the right to remain silent. Be informed as well, that you also can refuse searches.
If a police officer keeps questioning you or trying to threaten, just ask this “Am I free to go?” This means that you want to clarify whether you are being held or detained. If the answer is yes, leave calmly. However, if for some reason, the answer is negative stop answering the questions. You have a right to legal representation, so ask to speak to a lawyer.
Finally, avoid touching a police officer, running away and doing anything illegal.
Rights as an Employee
Know your rights as an employee is a must for living peacefully. Many do not realize, but employee rights begin even prior to being hired. If during a job interview the potential employer asks you about your family history, they violate the law. Among the most important legal rights that employees hold, is the right against discrimination and harassment. Any discrimination based on gender, age, race, ethnic origin or religion, disability is unacceptable.
Other rights include a safe workplace where employees are not exposed to toxic substances or other potential hazards. Know that an employer cannot retaliate you if you file a claim or complaint against him/her. And of course, do not forget your right to a fair wage. Also, your employees do not have the right to conduct a credit or background check without a prior written permission sent to you.
Your Tenant Rights
You tried to rent an apartment but your application got rejected. What you can do next is to legally find out why that happened. As you can guess, rejecting to rent for discriminatory reasons is prohibited by law. The same criteria of age, disability, race, etc. apply here.
But once you manage to rent and move into the house, here you have a number of legal rights as well. Firstly, the home should be safe and have access to heat, cold and hot water and fuel. The landlord cannot shut off those, even if you did not pay the rent.
And of course, your right to privacy. The landlord can enter the home only on several occasions. Those include making repairs, showing the home to prospective tenants or in a case of emergency.
Of course, all of these legal rights have their details which are too many to be covered in one article. However, it is just enough for a general background for every situation. So, know your rights and guarantee your own security and peace of mind!