You Can Catch a Misdemeanor Charge in Maryland for Something Millions of Drivers Do
Sometimes car laws can be more than a little weird, which is the case for one such law on the books in Rockville, Maryland. Drivers will find that the crime is a relatively common occurrence amongst even the most law-abiding citizens, but it has a rather harsh penalty. So what is the law, and how high are the fines if you are convicted?
No cursing in Rockville for Maryland drivers
That’s right, you can’t curse in Rockville, Maryland, especially if you are on a street, sidewalk, or highway. Well, you can, but if someone hears you, then you could be charged and have to go to court.
According to Rockville, Maryland’s Code of Ordinances, the full law reads as follows.
Sec. 13-53. – Profanity; violation of section declared misdemeanor.
“(a)A person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway.(b)A person may not act in a disorderly manner by profanely cursing, swearing or using obscene language.(c)Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
While this isn’t specific to a car, if you curse at someone as you drive by, then anyone who hears can call the cops on you. It’s interesting to note that it does state “profanely cursing.” The Law Dictionary of Legal Terminology defines profanely as “in a profane manner.” In an indictment, under the act of assembly of Pennsylvania, against profanity, it is requisite that the words should be laid to have been spoken profanely.” The dictionary then refers to “profane” as “that which has not been consecrated. By a profane place is understood one which is neither sacred, nor sanctified, nor religious.”
Because of this, it appears that the cursing has to be rather excessive in order to be charged. Dropping a few curse words may not be enough to be pulled over, but if you can shame a sailor with your vocabulary, then you may be facing a judge in Rockville, Maryland.
What are the penalties for cursing at other Maryland drivers?
A misdemeanor is not on the same level as a felony, but you’re still breaking the law if you are convicted. In many cases, you’ll be fined. In more serious instances, you could face jail time.
If you are found guilty of profane cursing, swearing, or using obscene language in Rockville, Maryland, it could land you a fine of up to $100, according to Smart Financial. This isn’t a lot of money in the long run, but the legal fees could add up if you try to fight the charge. If a judge finds you guilty several times, then the fees could get very expensive.
Are law enforcement officers enforcing this?
It’s unclear how this law came into being, but it isn’t the only one like it in Rockville, Maryland. Some other laws include lights that are too bright, making loud noises, and disturbing the peace.
Each makes sense in its own way, although it’s questionable if it’s worth being charged a misdemeanor.
Because of this, it’s not likely that police officers will show up every time someone calls them complaining that there is a Maryland driver yelling profane words unless it’s so bad that everyone is speaking out. Cursing may not be considered respectable, but it is something that most people are guilty of.
If the local police were to charge everyone who curses, then the courthouse would most likely be full. The police would also have to ignore more serious situations, like drunk drivers, wrecks, burglaries, and more.
So, how many people are getting a ticket for using profane language while driving their cars? It’s unclear, but it’s probably not a very high number.