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A Miami City Repeals One of Its Unusual Laws

| Sep 16, 2020 | Criminal Charges, Criminal Defense, Legal Tips |

If you often read this blog, then there’s a chance you’ve read about the 10 Weirdest Laws in Florida, but it turns out there’s one we missed and it’s finally being repealed. Did you know that in Opa-Locka, a suburb in Miami Dade, there’s a ban on the wearing of “saggy pants” at city buildings and parks throughout the city that was later expanded to include all public spaces? Well, looks like it’s on the radar of lawmakers and it’s about to be repealed.

The ban was put into effect in 2007 and then later updated with a 2013 ordinance that said women, not just men, could receive civil citations for wearing pants that exposed their undergarments. Punishment for this offense could include a fine of up to $500 or 25 hours of community service. The punishment was determined via a hearing by the city’s code enforcement department and city magistrate. While this law may not have been enforced often or much at all, there were signs around the city set in place as reminders that said “No Ifs, And, or Butts… It’s the City Law!” with a graphic depicting two young men with their pants sagging below their butts.

The official law states:

(a) It shall be unlawful for an individual (male or female) to wear saggy pants or slacks apparel wherein underwear or under garments are exposed in city buildings and parks. Females, as well, shall also be banned from wearing saggy shirt or blouse apparel. Neither males nor females shall wear saggy apparel such as to constitute indecent exposure.

(b) The ban shall also extend to all places of businesses within the city. All merchants and shopkeepers are to enforce the terms set forth in subsection (a).

Early in September, law enforcement and officials have decided to deem this ban as unnecessary. Though there’s one more round of voting left, it’s looking like the law will be repealed for good. “I was never in support of it, even as a resident,” Vice Mayor Chris Davis, who sponsored the repeal, told the Miami Herald. “I felt it disproportionately affected a certain segment of our population, which is young, African-American men.”

It was decided that even though the law likely wasn’t monitored or enforced much, it would be a waste of the city’s resources to attempt to enforce and the signs that have been in place for years have become a bit of an eye sore as Opa-Locka tries to lift up its residents. Opa-Locka is one of the poorest cities in Florida and officials are working to figure out its finances and bring in new government officials. The repeal of this law is just one of the first steps in creating a more warm and welcoming environment for those who live within its city limits.

If you are being charged with a crime due to a seemingly outdated law in the state of Florida, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is a must. Having someone who is well versed in the legal system on your side can help you get the outcome you’re looking for, especially if the law is unusual or outdated. Give Russell Spatz a call today at (305) 442-0200 to set up a consultation to discuss your case.

References

Leibowitz, Aaron. “This Miami-Dade City Had a Ban on ‘Saggy Pants.’ The Law Will Be Repealed.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-gardens/article245591580.html.

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