So here is the case: The state of Alabama says you cannot beg for money on state roads. The reason is public safety. Some state groups say panhandling is part of your right to free speech. They say if the state blocks you from asking for cash, it may soon prevent you from carrying signs supporting your favorite cause.
Welcome to a world where legislators and judges argue, both trying to figure out what is right. In the meantime, someone is washing your windshield without your permission or getting really close to your car door while you are forced to stop at a red light.
Currently, in Alabama, you can NOT panhandle on state roads. The governor just signed a new law. In March of this year, a judge threw out the old anti-panhandling law.
I cannot knowledgeably talk about the homelessness problem, mental health issues, or many other reasons people go on the street asking for charity. But as a personal injury lawyer, I do know about one thing. An estimated 800 people get hit by cars in our state every year. 800. Being on a busy road is just plain unsafe.
If you were a senator or legislator, how would you vote?
Here are some arguments to consider:
- Is your annoyance worth someone else’s right to ask for help?
- Do you want to pay the police to implement this law?
- The state has outlawed the practice on state roads. Should we extend that law to every road?
- Is it different if the person sells something like flowers or asks for work?
- Is jail the right place for violators?
- Should we just tell police officers to ignore the law?
So, what to do? There is no easy answer, but in the end, someone must decide.
If you suffer from any personal injury accident – car, boat, on-the-job, slip and fall, nursing home abuse, etc. – you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie (251) 666-1212 for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Plus, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We’ll have some legal information you can use. Plus, we specifically set aside a few hours on Monday morning to answer any questions you may have in real-time. Just call our office.
Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer