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Ineffectiveness of legal terminology works to contribute to code violations?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Dlutsky, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Dlutsky

    Dlutsky Shoreline, WA Member

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    It is a universal term - “Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law.” The charging officer, district attorney, and ultimately judge/jury belabor this notion to no avail. I’m not going to extend this to a collective criminal populous, but generally speaking common criminals lack the reasoning /education to arrive at prudent decisions on how to proceed in a legal framework.

    Let’s use Washington State as an example in regards to legalities. I contend that a vast majority of individuals whom invested in higher education probably cannot derive a firm understanding of revised codes of WA. Anyone whom is not employed as a partner at a law-firm will encounter difficulty in interpreting laws.

    I’m not offering criminals an excuse for breaking the law. My position is merely, that most civilians (including myself) are ignorant to a myriad of laws that we unknowingly violate daily, weekly, around fishing/hunting season, etc.
    In summation, legal jargon is ineffective when a citizen strives to actually learn the entailments of a “code”, but fails due to misinterpretation, and worse is subsequently charged for violating said code.

    My question: is there anything citizens can do to learn the law without essentially preparing to take the Bar? Should an intermediary exist whom can help translate the rule into meaningful terms for diligent civilians attempting to obey? Should this be a commercial opportunity subsidized by the government? Just pointing out that recent posts reference citizens habitually breaking laws, even felony offenses, thus the issue seems pertinent. Please share thoughts!
  2. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    That's why lawyers can ask so much money, because few can understand the laws they help write :D

    But to answer your question, usually a good lawyer with expertise in the area can decipher the meaning for you.
  3. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    The simple answer is no. There are too many laws, in too many jurisdictions with too many interpretations. If it was simple black and white there would be no need for an appeals process or the supreme court.

    The good news is that if you can find the law you can ususally interpret it yourself. Look for key words like AND, OR, EXEMPT, DOES NOT APPLY TO, etc. Also look for specific terms that must be defined. For instance VEHICLE, PUBLIC BUILDING, FIREARM or LOADED. Don't assume you know what it means. Find out how the state defines the term. You may not consider an air rifle a firearm but the real question is does the state call it a firearm.

    I wish we could put an auto expiration in every criminal law that if it isn't renewed every x (5?) years it goes away. There should also be something about a certain number of people need to be charged with that crime for it to even be considered for renewal (I might be okay with an exemption for something like Treason but I don't think there should be many exemptions).

    Then again I think our legislatures should be drafted instead of elected so take it for what it's worth :)
  4. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    They are written that way for two reasons

    1) Ineptitude. This is rampant in the RCW, many of which remind me of Alice attempting to traverse Wonderland

    2) Written that way on purpose to entrap us. This is very common in federal laws such as the 34 and 68 gun acts, and BATF "rulings"
  5. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Even four SCOTUS judges can't read the Second Amendment and come to the conclusion that it's a personal right and not a collective right!!!

    Eight U.S. Presidents have been NRA members. They are: Ulysses S. Grant,
    Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
    John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush

    80 MILLION gun owners didn't shoot anyone today, a few criminals did!


    The "Feedback Score" is low by 4, not everyone posts it I guess.

    NRA Benefactor/Recruiter
    Washington Arms Collector member
    South West Washington Arms Collector member
  6. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    The problem is simply too many damned laws, most of which aren't even in the proper purview of government regulation.

    I'd like to see a constitutional amendment on state and federal levels that made it the rule that for every law passed you had to abolish two.
  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I like the mandatory sunset idea.. it could specifically exempt crimes like murder, rape, armed robbery, grand theft auto, etc..