Television dramas and movies often lead people to draw conclusions about the legal system and the way it works. Shows such as Law & Order and other TV dramas shed the light on some legality in the court system, but not all over the factors in the show’s storylines are true. Here are common legal misconceptions brought on my television and film.
One big legal misconception shown in television dramas is that the police must obtain a search warrant before entering your home or car. TV shows depict the officers getting in major trouble when they enter a home without search warrants or portray a criminal getting away with a crime because the police will not enter without a search warrant. As long as the police have probable cause, or any reason to believe a crime has been committed in your car or home, they have the right to enter. The totality of the criminal action is surveyed after-the-fact when a court looks at a case to determine probable cause. Probable cause can mean the police can search your car or home whenever they “think” you have drugs or other illegal paraphernalia.
Another legal misconception put on mainly by movies, but shown in some television shows, is that you can stop your spouse from divorcing you if you want to. This is completely untrue. Most states in America offer a no fault divorce in which if a spouse can prove grounds for ending a marriage, the courts will grant a divorce. Other states offer full no fault divorces. Full no fault divorces grant the divorce immediately after a spouse petitions for one. Even further, some states require a period of separation before granting divorce proceedings. This separation period can last anywhere from a few months up to five years, but eventually a divorce will occur.
Reality court shows often show legal misconceptions as well. Some people think that anyone calling them multiple times per day for money can be considered harassment, when that is not the case. A common legal misconception is that if debt companies call more than 10 times a day, it is a harassment case. Creditors have the right to call 7 days a week, as many times a day as they want if you are not answering the phone.
By law, a creditor can call you until they reach contact with you on one account you old with them per day. If you do answer the phone and tell them not to call anymore or that you talked to them already, they still have the right to call you back. Identify yourself when answering creditor calls so they cannot call you back again that day. The only way a creditor can get in legal trouble is if they call you more than three times in a half hour period, then you can contact a lawyer. Television and film offer all types of falsehoods for people to believe. From legal issues, to relationship misconceptions, and more, television advice is not always the best.