UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf8' codec can't decode byte 0xa5 in position 0: invalid start byte

This error occurs when trying to decode a byte string using the UTF-8 codec and the byte at the given position is not a valid start byte for a UTF-8 encoded character.

Here is an example of how this error might be encountered:

    byte_string = b'\xa5' # contains an invalid start byte for UTF-8
    text = byte_string.decode('utf8')
except Exception as e:

To handle this error, you can use the errors parameter of the decode() method to specify how to handle invalid bytes.

For example, to ignore invalid bytes, you can use the following:

byte_string = b'\xa5'
text = byte_string.decode('utf8', errors='ignore')
print(text) # prints nothing

Another option is to replace invalid bytes with a replacement character, such as the Unicode replacement character (U+FFFD) by using 'replace':

byte_string = b'\xa5'
text = byte_string.decode('utf8', errors='replace')

It's important to note that, the above solutions can only be used if you are sure of the encoding of the byte string and that it's not really UTF-8 encoded. If it's not sure, you might want to try other encodings or use a library that can detect the encoding.