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  #1  
Old 09 January 2010, 06:39 PM
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Icon605 Vagrancy law says you must have $5

Comment: Is it true that there is a law (state or federal, not sure) that
a person must always have at least $5 USD on his or her person at all
times?
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  #2  
Old 09 January 2010, 09:08 PM
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I can't image that such a thing would pass a civil liberties sniff test, for several reasons. First, not carrying cash is not the same thing as not having ready access to cash, nor was it even in the days before debit and credit cards. Second, until relatively recently five dollars was a lot of money -- people may not have wanted to carry that much cash for fear or loss or theft.

In Massachusetts, the legal definition of vagrancy is related to behavior, not finances (MGL 272:66), as are the legal definitions of vagabonds and tramps (272:68 and 272:63, respectively).

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Old 09 January 2010, 09:10 PM
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I don't have the equivalent of $5 on me at the moment.
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  #4  
Old 09 January 2010, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I don't have the equivalent of $5 on me at the moment.
But you're also not in our town.
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  #5  
Old 09 January 2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I don't have the equivalent of $5 on me at the moment.
And were you here and had the equivalent, the OP states it must be US currency.
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Old 09 January 2010, 09:14 PM
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What good would the $5 be if spending it would cause you to be committing a crime?
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Old 09 January 2010, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Kitties View Post
And were you here and had the equivalent, the OP states it must be US currency.
So, if this was true and I was carrying £200 I'd be arrested?
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  #8  
Old 09 January 2010, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
So, if this was true and I was carrying £200 I'd be arrested?
Apparently. As would lord_feldon, if he had $5 on him but spent it without first acquiring more.

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Old 09 January 2010, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Kitties View Post
Apparently. As would lord_feldon, if he had $5 on him but spent it without first acquiring more.
Harsh. At least if I were desperate for money I could get $5 from everyone just by mugging them. And then getting them arrested.
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  #10  
Old 09 January 2010, 09:28 PM
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From what I could find, this "stupid law" is usually attributed to the state of Illinois, but in the amount of $1. However, the only mention of vagrancy in the Illinois Compiled Statutes delegates the authority to each municipality (65 ILCS 5/11‑5‑4).
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  #11  
Old 09 January 2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
Harsh. At least if I were desperate for money I could get $5 from everyone just by mugging them. And then getting them arrested.
"How can you believe him when he says I mugged him -- he's a vagrant!"

Clever!

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  #12  
Old 09 January 2010, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
What good would the $5 be if spending it would cause you to be committing a crime?
It's proof of non-vagrancy, just like your driver's license is proof of identity even when you're not driving a car.
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  #13  
Old 09 January 2010, 10:19 PM
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Is a credit card proof of credit-worthiness if it's maxed out?

Is a debit card proof of non-vagrancy if the bank account contains less than $5?

ETA: A drivers license-as-ID shows that I have satisfactorily proven my identity to a government agency -- until/unless I change it, my identity remains the same, and changing identities (such as a name change) requires approval of another government agency. A credit card is proof that I once was credit-worthy according to the standards set by a financial institution; but is credit-worthiness as stable as identity, and is a private company's opinion relevant? A debit card is proof that at one time I had enough money in a bank to meet its account-opening requirements; but it's not proof of my current balance.

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Last edited by Four Kitties; 09 January 2010 at 10:29 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09 January 2010, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
So, if this was true and I was carrying £200 I'd be arrested?
That would be a sign that you were an International Traveler. Not only would you be thrown in jail but habeas corpus would be suspended. I hope you like Guantanamo Bay, mister!
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  #15  
Old 10 January 2010, 03:32 AM
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I'd rub it in my stepdaughters face "Ha you paid for your holiday in Cuba - I got mine free as a guest of the US Government."
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  #16  
Old 10 January 2010, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
I'd rub it in my stepdaughters face "Ha you paid for your holiday in Cuba - I got mine free as a guest of the US Government."
Only problem is that the itinerary tends to be unplanned on the return trip..
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  #17  
Old 10 January 2010, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Only problem is that the itinerary tends to be unplanned on the return trip..
We call that an open ended ticket. And charge more for it at that.
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  #18  
Old 11 January 2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
It's proof of non-vagrancy, just like your driver's license is proof of identity even when you're not driving a car.
My driving license is proof of ID, even though there is no photograph of me on it. I know I could get a new license with a seperate photo part to it but I'm too mean to pay the government for something I don't need.
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  #19  
Old 13 January 2010, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Kitties View Post
In Massachusetts, the legal definition of vagrancy is related to behavior, not finances (MGL 272:66), as are the legal definitions of vagabonds and tramps (272:68 and 272:63, respectively).

Four Kitties
Wow, I had no idea that it was worse to be a vagabond than a vagrant, and worse to be a vagrant than a tramp. Fascinating.
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