eli5: Whats the difference between something that’s legal and a law that’s in the gray area


Isn’t anything that’s not illegal, legal?

In: Other

Well the law is more complex than “can do this” “can’t do that”. There are obvious laws like “dont murder” “dont steal” etc., but most of law is complex to the point that it needs to be interpreted or manipulated. Laws can either be relatively vague or really specific. The really specific laws are harder to interpret to your benefit, but vague laws are rather inevitable. It’s difficult to create a blanket law that can be used in every case. That is what lawyers are for and how “good lawyers” and pouring more money into your court case can actually yield more favorable outcomes.

Not sure what you mean but maybe an example would be: there’s walking across the street which is legal and then then there’s jay-walking which is walking across a street without cross walk permission. The difference is location and definition. I don’t know homie I obvi don’t understand the question

Sometimes, in light of new things like new technologies, old laws can seem a bit vague, and so either the courts decide how to apply the law to new situations, or the legislature has to update the law to address them.

So, until the judiciary or the legislature definitively decides how to treat something, it’s in a grey area.

Also, sometimes, a certain thing can be legal or illegal depending on context. Like carrying a knife in a city where doing so is illegal. If the knife is a vital tool of your job and you’re either on-the-job or heading to work, then it’s probably fine.