PACT- knowledge of the law

Do You Know the Law?

Do you know what is considered to be legal verses illegal? Do you know what the consequences are if you break the law? Is it a fine, jail time or some other penalty? Many people get so busy with their daily lives that they don’t keep up-to-date on new laws or share with family and friends their knowledge of the laws that they are familiar with. Although sometimes, people innocently think they are sharing information, they may unknowingly share information that is false or outdated.

Ignorance of the law is not a justifiable excuse for breaking the law. In so many situations, it is easy to react without considering the consequences. Learning about the laws in your state will not only help you to be more aware personally, the knowledge you gain can be shared with family and friends to help prevent negative situations from occurring.

Fortunately, several groups of civic minded community members are collaborating together to help educate the public on the laws and consequences in their community. These groups come from the sectors of law enforcement, judicial, education, prevention, and treatment and include agencies, services and advocates.

One such group is PACT Prevention Coalition of St. Johns County. The coalition is comprised of groups of people from diverse disciplines in the community including members who represent: youth, parents, education, business, government, faith-based, media, law enforcement, substance abuse/mental health providers, youth serving agencies, healthcare, civic/volunteer groups, and community residents. The goal of these coalitions is to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities and in turn, making them better places to live. They strengthen the community and its members with technical assistance and training, public policy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences and special events. Heidi Matheny, Coalition Coordinator for PACT Prevention Coalition is currently compiling a booklet to be given out at the local high schools and colleges. Heidi said ”We wanted to enable and encourage youth to make empowered decisions by taking the time to know and understand the laws while weighing the consequences of their behaviors. This booklet is also intended as a tool for parents.”

The booklet is going to print and the PACT Prevention Coalition is looking to distribute 30,000 copies from this first printing.

Some items that are covered include:

  • Crime Defined
  • Principal Theory
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Parties
  • Computer Crimes
  • Mandatory Consequences

Many others topics are also included such as potential future obstacles and local resources to contact.

Take time to check in your community to see if this type information is available. In St. Johns County you can go to the website at, click the contact link and request your copy. Join other civic mind people to help make our communities the best they can be.