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Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies

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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

People Now Must Behave Better

Almost since colonial days it had been a custom of most Costa Ricans to do as they pleased, even if their behaviour bothered or hurt others. As of November 10th 2002, Law No. 8250 reformed the existing Penal Code so that what had always been considered simple misdemeanours or misdeeds are now felonies meriting jail sentences.

The reforms won the applause of the citizenry but started the court judges worrying about how they would handle such a large work load. And the government on how it would build new jails with its very limited funds. Fortunately, judges were given the option of putting fines or demanding that free public service be done as a substitute of punishment for lesser felonies rather than giving jail sentences. Following is part of a long list of the misdeeds that are now felonies:

1) Touching a woman's buttocks while in a crowd.
2) Making false calls to or molesting the police, Red Cross or firemen.
3) Allowing the contamination of the environment through faulty and loud noise-producing vehicle muffles.
4) Mal-treating an animal or allowing it to bite or harm a person or personal property.
5) Permitting the sale of liquor or cigarettes to minors by bar owners.
6) Blockading or obstructing transit on public roads and highways as in a strike or march against something.
7) Discolouring or writing obscene messages and other graffito on public property.
8) Letting an insane person out of the house without supervision.
9) Carrying prohibited arms and weapons.
10) Not registering a birth or death.
11) Executing an illegal wedding.
12) Incitation to hatred in the press or publicly.
13) Loud and boisterous meetings or indoor family fighting.
14) Divulging documents and secrets which affect the National Security.
15) Interpreting dreams.


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