It’s easy to assume that the majority of people don’t go out to break laws every day, but what if you’re unaware that what you’re doing is illegal? At Tucker, Yoder and Associates, we know that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to the law and no matter how strange it may seem, it’s your responsibility to know the laws that pertain to you. 

Here’s a list of 10 odd New Mexico laws so you can learn a little bit more about the Land of Enchantment and the confusing rules that help make it so enchanting. 

  1. Voting 

The New Mexico State Constitution banned “idiots” from participating in any and all public votes in 1911, and the law has never been absolved. On qualifications for voting, the law states that any one over the age of 21 who has lived in the state for a year or more are eligible for voting, except for felons, and those who are insane or idiots. 

This law may not seem that weird at all, but it’s not very measurable as there is no legal definition for what constitutes an “idiot”. Since the term is extremely ambiguous, this law, while still entirely in place, probably isn’t affecting who can and can’t vote these days.  

  1. Tripping Horses

If you intentionally trip a horse in the State of New Mexico, you could be facing a misdemeanor charge. If the horse is injured from the fall, that charge could be bumped up to a class 4 felony. 

The bigger they are the harder they fall, and since most horses weigh about 2,000 pounds, tripping and falling could seriously injure the animal. This is why in New Mexico, intentionally tripping a horse is not only wrong, it’s illegal. 

  1. Sombreros 

There’s nothing illegal about wearing a sombrero in New Mexico, but start dancing in it and you’re breaking the law. It might not seem like dancing in a Sombrero would cause any reason to be banned, but the State lawmakers certainly disagreed. 

If you feel like rocking your sombrero in New Mexico, feel free, just make sure to take it off before dancing to avoid breaking this weird law. 

  1. Public Spitting 

It’s actually a petty misdemeanor to spit on any public state property, building, or sidewalk. The act of spitting is considered offensive to public wellbeing, and could land you in jail.

The law covers any public carrier, public sidewalk or roadway and all public buildings, stores, churches, houses, schools or other buildings in which persons frequently congregate. This means that if you’re in New Mexico, better keep public places spit free if you want to avoid possible jail time. 

  1. Lunchboxes  

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, it’s illegal to carry a lunchbox down mainstreet. The law was enacted to prevent dangerous weapons or other paraphernalia from easily being concealed and carried, but it also makes it harder to travel down mainstreet with a lunch you brought from home.

This law also increases the need for eating out at the local downtown restaurants since it limits your ability to bring your own food. 

  1. Public Duels

This law prohibits the encouragement of participating in a duel with a deadly weapon. While this one might seem obvious, this law was enacted to discourage dueling in public places and limit the safety risks that come with it. 

However, if you are really in need of a duel, this law doesn’t strictly prohibit the act of engaging in a duel, only suggesting it to another person, so actually dueling in New Mexico is not illegal under this ambiguous law as long as you haven’t suggested it. 

  1. Misspelling names

In some areas of New Mexico, it’s actually illegal to print someone’s name incorrectly. Having your name misspelled is typically considered annoying or an inconvenience, but New Mexico took it a step further by making it illegal. 

This law does have some practicality, as it was enacted to protect citizens from forgery or being stalled in obtaining official identification and registration when government and important organization employees misspell names on official documents. 

  1. Shaving 

The City of Carrizozo, New Mexico outlawed women going in public while unshaven. The outdated law states that before stepping out in public, a woman must be clean shaven. 

It’s hard to say how strictly this law is enforced, but it seems as though it would be difficult to regulate. This law may be outdated or even forgotten about, but it’s never been redacted.

  1. Pumping Gas and Changing Tires 

While we’re on the topic of laws specific to women, it’s technically illegal in some areas of New Mexico for women to pump their own gas or change a tire. 

This is another law on the list that was enacted a long time ago and most likely just forgotten about. It’s safe to assume that women probably won’t face legal trouble for pumping their gas or changing their own tire, this law has never been absolved, and is therefore still fully in place. 

  1. The National Anthem 

It’s illegal to “improperly use” the New Mexico State or National anthem incorrectly in New Mexico. Not only is it illegal, it’s considered a petty misdemeanor.

 Improper use of official anthems includes singing or rendering either the state or national anthem publicly except for if the lyrics are accurate and the anthem is played in its entirety. 

Every state has some unusual legislation in its code, as you can see, New Mexico is no different. Have you heard of any other strange or unusual New Mexico laws? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you or someone you know finds that you need legal advice or assistance, contact us today and we can provide you with experienced, passionate, and aggressive legal assistance. 

DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  It is for general informational use only.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.