Things that may be ok in your home country but not in USA
Below list is for informational purposes only and is NOT a comprehensive list. All information here is an opinion only, not a professional advice.
You will be surprised to find out that many things that go unnoticed in your home country may be considered offenses in USA. Below is the list of things that may be viewed as offense subjecting you to fines and/or prison time and in some cases deportation.
Swearing in public:
Use of abusive, indecent, profane or vulgar language in public place, or use of language in way that disturbs the peace. Also check out: what to say and what NOT to say where we covered some specific words that cannot be used.
You may be surprised to know that there are strict rules on what parts of your body you can and cannot expose in public places or in premises that can be easily seen from public space (that is, you cannot walk nude in your apartment with windows wide open if it can be seen from outside). Females cannot expose nipples, buttocks or genital area. Males cannot expose their buttocks or genital area. So for female a swimsuit maybe perfectly ok to wear even in public (if you are so willing) but just a thong is not. Same way, for men an underwear only maybe ok (why would you?) in most public places as long as it covers your buttocks and genitalia. Again, each State has it’s own law – for example – in New York it is ok for a women to go topless in public places (non-commercial purposes) (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/nyregion/a-police-roll-call-reminder-women-may-go-topless.html?hp&_r=3&), but that is an exception rather than a rule.
What is ok in one State or situation may not be ok in other State or situation, so it is always better to be safe than sorry. Find out what is appropriate attire in the place you are or going to and wear accordingly.
It is NOT ok to urinate in any public space, this even includes secluded areas, sidewalks, highways, or any place other than ‘rest rooms’. It may be ok in your country to find a secluded bushy area to take a leak, not in USA. You may get away with it but if caught can cost you a fine or prison time for ‘public indecency’.
Driving without a license and/or insurance:
Driving without a driving license and/or insurance is illegal which may prompt fines, prison time and or deportation. Not only that, you will invite trouble for those who let you drive their vehicle knowing that you don’t have license and or insurance.
On most highways, if you throw any litter out, you could be subject to fine of up-to $1200 (or more in some States); wait until the next gas station to throw in the trash bin. Also, it is not ok to litter in any public space.
You have to clean up your pet’s excrement. If you don’t and you are caught – you may get a hefty fine.
You have seen the LasVegas and Atlantic City grandeur of gambling on TV or movies and thought that it is cool, but you may be surprised to know that gambling, to this day, is illegal in most places (except in State permitted licensed locations). Online gambling is illegal too if the State you are living in says so.
In some States (Indiana for example) dispensing contact lenses to a person without prescription is an offense too. So if you take up any job at a drug store, make sure you check for prescription, as required.
As in most countries, it is illegal in US too, that is, both performing and patronizing the prostitution. Currently only Nevada State allows ‘legal’ prostitution but it is confined to specific counties (8 at the time of writing) which does NOT include Las Vegas. So beware.
Do not get into fights, period. Except in cases of self-defense (where retreat is not an option), if you initiate violence (in any form), you may get into lot of trouble including but not limited to – fines, jail and or deportation.
Pot is not cool:
Ganja, weed, marijuana, pot or whatever name you call it, it is illegal in almost all States in US to smoke marijuana. Due to the no-tolerance rules in most states, you could get deported if caught under the influence of or in possession of any illegal substances including marijuana. The quantity of possession is of little consequence in the zero tolerance states. Medical marijuana is legal in some States with doctor’s prescription and only if possessed within the limits allowed. There is list of 18 states and their limits for medical marijuana here: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881
At the time of this writing, Colorado and Washington are the two states where you could possess marijuana for personal (recreational) purposes without medical reasons. Of course, there are limits on how much you can possess.
Remember that any form of ‘illegal’ drug use or possession can get you in prison and/or deported.
Again, these are just few rules of the many other rules that you need to know to ensure you don’t get into any trouble.