WTF: Is It Against The Law In Michigan To Swear In Public?
We have laws in place in Michigan and around the world to set the standard for what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to do in public.
For example, you can't walk around naked in Michigan or you will be charged with indecent exposure. But what does the law say in Michigan when we want to use inappropriate language in public? Sure it might be frowned upon, but is it against the law to swear in public? Here's what I've found out.
Is It Against The Law In Michigan To Swear In Public?
You have to go back to 1931 for Michigan Penal Code 750.103 which addresses cursing and swearing:
Any person who has arrived at the age of discretion, who shall profanely curse or damn or swear by the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. No such prosecution shall be sustained unless it shall be commenced within 5 days after the commission of such offense.
If You Swear In Public Can You Be Charged With A Different Crime?
Yes. Unfortunately, in Michigan, your potty mouth can still get you in trouble and land you in court in front of the judge. Michigan Penal Code 750.167 is for a disorderly person. Section F applies to "a person who is engaged in indecent or obscene conduct in a public place." Which could count as swearing if an officer really wanted to write you a ticket.
As much as I love to swear, I would recommend caution in doing so in public. If someone hears you swearing and doesn't like it you could find yourself in trouble with the law.