20 Seemingly Innocent Things That Are Actually Crimes

Published 11 months ago

Most of us take pains to be law-abiding and upstanding citizens. However, there may be occasions you may engage in a felonious act without even realising it. This may be when you’re holidaying in Sweden and randomly decide to move a stone, but whoops, according to the country’s law you’ve just committed a crime. Or it may be when your little one decides to set up their own lemonade stand outside your house, but turns out, it’s illegal. 

There are so many of these ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’ crimes that when user u/Wowthatscrazyyylmao got online and asked folks to share their knowledge, the responses abounded. Scroll below to check out the most interesting answers people gave to the online question “What’s an innocent crime that people commit?” on r/AskReddit. 

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#1 Apparently getting abortion. F**k you GQP.

Image source: alphamikedelta, Dmitry Schemelev

#2 Here in Japan, it’s illegal to hand your neighbour’s misaddressed mail to them. In practice, we all do it.

Image source: Maso_TGN, Tima Miroshnichenko

#3 Apparently being 5 years old and having a lemonade stand

Image source: lightspinnerss, Marina Grynykha

#4 For the kids saying they’re old enough to make an account on a website/app while being to young.

Image source: Vaporc_, Thomas Park


In Sweden, if a stone (anywhere) has ever been moved by a human and then left in the new place for more than 12 months it is illegal to move that stone again, because it has become a cultural artifact. This absurd law is actually enforced and creates a lot of problems for the people living in country side, but since laws are written by people in the cities it is not seen as a problem. The original reason for the law is to protect centuries old stonewalls. But because of how it is written it is used against people who for example temporarily move a stone to be able to reach that area. If the work is not finished within one year and the stone has not been moved in the mean time it is then illegal to move it back. Very innocent crime. Not a very innocent law, though.

Image source: GlobusGlobus, Mor Shani

#6 jaywalking.

Image source: frogs_69, refargotohp

#7 Leaving the car unlocked when unattended. Like going in to pay for your fuel. Apparently illegal in Aus.

Image source: MiddleConstruction84, Szabolcs Toth

#8 Selecting ‘I have read and agree to the terms and conditions’ without actually reading a single word. The biggest heist happening daily.

Image source: Wpstar_it, NordWood Themes

#9 A poor person stealing a small amount of baby food. I’d see it when I worked at a market and I’d just look the other way.

Image source: Jugales, Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue

#10 putting prescription pills in a daily reminder case ( M T W TH F S S)

Image source: krautspieler, Laurynas Mereckas

#11 Getting a fish drunk… That’s an Ohio State law. It’s illegal to get a fish drunk.

Image source: No_Hunt7394, Sebastian Pena Lambarri

#12 Smoking weed in most of the world

Image source: Faded_chef, GRAS GRÜN

#13 It’s illegal to pass out food to homeless people in some cities

Image source: jarchack, Nathan Dumlao

#14 Apparently in the Aussie city of Brisbane sleeping in your car even if it’s due to fatigue is considered camping in public and thus illegal.

Image source: Slavx97, Elvis Bekmanis

#15 as a server, not inputting my cash tips on my taxes; actually didn’t even know you even needed to do that until a few years ago, after i had been working in the food industry for well over six years. evidently, none of my coworkers were aware of this either

Image source: lavaniani, Jessie McCall


What jurisdiction are we talking?

Because in Singapore chewing gum is a crime.

In Germany, if you run out of fuel on the Autobahn that’s a crime.

You can’t take a selfie beside a statue of Buddha in Sri Lanka.

Image source: EveryoneIsADose, Quinten de Graaf


I drive home from work in the middle of the night, and there’s one left turn I have to make at a red light every night that is infuriatingly badly timed for that hour. The pharmacy on that corner has been closed up for an hour by the time I get there and the parking lot is always empty, so driving through that to save myself 45 interminable seconds is as victimless a crime as one can commit, if it even is a crime.

Image source: gorka_la_pork, Keagan Henman


Exploring abandoned buildings. My old school shut down years ago and my friends and I used to walk around in there filming videos and audio and collecting stuff that got left behind (which was almost everything, the whole library was still the way it was when they left)

Image source: Limp-Salamander6255, Tara Evans

#19 In the US low effort speeding (1-10 mph over posted limits) is fairly common.

Image source: Aezetyr, Mauro Sbicego


Picking up bird feathers. Obviously it’s not really a crime, but under the migratory bird act, because you can’t PROVE where you got it from, you also can’t prove that you didn’t poach it. It was made in response to massive bird poaching around the turn of the 1900s for women’s hats but… also massive amounts of bird hunting in general, which was causing the severe decline in hundreds of species. After all, we know what happened to the passenger pigeons. As a result it’s actually a severe crime (thousands and thousands of dollars in fines) to own bird feathers, but obviously it’s not one that’s actually convicted on much nowadays.

Image source: MadameCat, Alexander Sinn

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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felonies, ignorant crime, illegal, innocent crimes, petty crimes, social issues
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