Teens Beware of Pranks That Can Get You in Legal Trouble

by A Guest Author

When Does a Prank Become a Crime?

People play pranks on their friends and family, and usually, the goal is to inject humor in every day situations. There are also college or school pranks, which are often designed to create a more humorous mood. However, there are also pranks played on others so that pranksters will get accepted into elite groups or fraternities. Because of this, there are many pranks that go awry, with some involving physical or sexual attacks, as well as hazing and bullying.

If you love playing pranks on others, it is essential to know where to draw the line. Don't let a prank get you in jail as certain pranks can smear your otherwise clean record. Here are pranks that you should not try as these could get you in legal trouble.


Vandalism refers to the malicious destruction of other people's property. Anyone who willfully or deliberately destroys or defaces houses, buildings or possessions belonging to someone else can be sued for malicious destruction of property. This is a criminal charge. Examples of vandalism include: painting graffiti on walls; egging or throwing eggs at other people's vehicles or houses; breaking or trashing lawns and decorations; and also painting or spraying paint on the surfaces of houses, buildings and vehicles.


Most pranksters steal or rob things for fun. They do not necessarily have use of the items that they get. Pranksters may steal decorations or statues, as well as mascots and signage. Some even go so far as to steal animals from zoos or golf carts from exclusive clubs. Those caught stealing can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

Unintentional Burning of Property or Items

Setting fire on things can easily become a huge emergency when fires go out of control. This has happened a lot, especially when pranksters play with fireworks. In many states, such as California, fireworks are banned since these explosives can cause damage to properties. Firecrackers have started residential and building fires, as well as forest fires, wherein a wide expanse of land, including trees, plants, and wildlife, are destroyed. Damage to property due to fires also cost thousands or millions of dollars. In several cases, fires also lead to physical injuries to others or death. If a person who starts a fire as a prank is caught, he can be charged with arson. Those charged with arson are penalized and they could also be sentenced to serve a certain time in prison.

Unpremeditated Injury to Others

Sometimes, pranks can lead to serious physical injuries to others. When a prank hurts others, pranksters can get into real trouble. There have been pranks that resulted in serious injuries or death. Some pranks also trigger intense reactions from others, such as asthma and heart attacks. These are often described as criminal mischief or criminal damage, and pranksters could face incarceration for serious crimes.

All in all, those who decide to play pranks on others should always think twice about the consequences of their actions. They should determine if their pranks or jokes will hurt others since they could go to jail for such acts. Teens, with the help of their parents, should always find the motivation behind their actions as they could mar their future with thoughtless acts.


About The Author:

The article is by Claire Brown, who is a freelance writer. She usually blogs for legal websites and bail bonds agencies, including Torrance bail bonds.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

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