Laws Everyone Should Know In The US

There are important laws everyone should know in the US, whether you are a resident of the USA or planning to visit the country. The USA has numerous laws at the federal, state, and local levels. It is essential to familiarize yourself with a list of significant laws to ensure compliance and avoid any legal violations. Understanding the meaning of law is the first step toward this.

What Are Laws?

According to the dictionary, laws are a system of rules which a country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by imposition of penalties.

As a new resident or a visitor to the United States, you have made the important decision to leave your home country to visit or stay in the United States. We encourage you to know some important laws and rights as a resident or visitor of the United States, including those specific to states like Texas.

Below is a list of some of the most common laws and also the rights of every citizen that must be followed in the United States.

Laws Everyone Should Know In The US – Common Laws

Immigration: The law requires that to enter or exit the U.S., you must always have your valid documents with you. Entering the country without valid documentation can lead to serious legal consequences, including deportation. Overstaying your visa is also a violation in the U.S., and it is crucial to always be honest with immigration officers.

State and Federal Taxes: As a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you must file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and, if required, with your state, city, or local tax department. For instance, Texas has no state income tax, but you must still file federal taxes. Failure to file your income tax returns, even while living outside the United States, or falsely claiming non-immigrant status on your tax returns, may result in losing your permanent resident status.

National Minimum Drinking Age: This law establishes that the minimum age at which an individual can legally drink or purchase alcohol is 21. In most states, including Texas, the legal age to serve alcohol in establishments where alcohol sales are the primary source of revenue is also 21. The maximum blood alcohol level permitted for drivers varies by state.

Social Security: This law provides disability, old age, and survivors insurance benefits to workers and their families. Benefits are paid based on the individual’s employment history.

Anti-Discrimination and Civil Rights: These laws make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on color, race, disability, national origin, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices.

Driving: Every resident of the United States needs a valid driver’s license to drive. Some states, like Texas, allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a learner’s permit and driver’s licenses. Additionally, you must have car insurance to cover potential accident costs.

Rights Of A US Citizen

Below are some rights every citizen needs to know in the United States.

  1. Freedom of Speech: Every citizen has the right to express opinions without censorship or restraint.
  2. Freedom of the Press: The right to circulate opinions in print without government censorship.
  3. Freedom of Religion: Every citizen has the right to practice any religion they choose.
  4. Right to Due Process: The legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights owed to a person.

Not all rights are granted to every resident. Some rights exclusive to permanent U.S. citizens include the ability to:

  • Work anywhere in the United States.
  • Own property in the United States.
  • Vote in federal elections.
  • Apply for federal jobs.
  • Live permanently anywhere in the United States, including Texas.
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