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When it comes to pranks, the law does not joke around. While many pranks can be chalked up to kids being kids, when practical jokes cause damage to property, or worse, injuries, then police tend to get involved. However, property damage and injuries aren't the only things that push pranks over the line of what's legally permissible. In fact, most pranks minimally cause the prankster to be exposed to civil liability for damages, on top of the criminal liability.
All too often, pranks go horribly wrong, or cause unintended consequences. While police didn't get involved in the notorious Lambo fake-poop prank, the fake pooper was literally shocked by the prank victim's reaction (note to pranksters: beware of taser toting targets). While these pranksters certainly gained notoriety as a result of their video, prank videos, which abound all over the internet, are frequently used by law enforcement as evidence to support pressing charges.
Below, you'll find 5 pranks that can actually get you arrested and charged with a crime.
1. Spiking Drinks
Spiking a drink with illegal or even legal drugs is so incredibly illegal it can barely be considered a prank. Furthermore, because this is a common delivery method for date rape drugs, and can cause people serious injuries, these types of "pranks" are taken very seriously by law enforcement.
In fact, this can result in multiple serious criminal charges, even if no injuries result. And even if you opt for using some sort of silly, likely harmless, or ineffective drug, like butt-enhancing pills, it still very illegal. Even something you may think is completely harmless, such as food coloring, could result in an allergic reaction. Simply, spiking drinks should be completely avoided.
2. Prank Calls
Although making prank calls to friends or family might not result in reports to the police, if you're going to prank call strangers, or people who might not laugh along with you after learning the truth, you could actually get in legal trouble. If you take the prank to far, you could also be looking at criminal charges for harassment or disorderly conduct. Furthermore, some states, like California, actually have specific laws making prank calls illegal.
While Halloweeners still carry on the mantra of trick-or-treat, the classic pranks of TP'ing or egging a candy-less house are considered vandalism, and are illegal. Additionally, other pranks that involve defacing or damaging property, whether intentionally or accidentally, can still result in arrest and criminal charges.
4. Flaming Bags of Poop
A seemingly constant favorite in movies and TV, the old flaming bag of poop on the doorstep prank is not only illegal, it's actually pretty dangerous. On top of vandalism charges, if a person is injured, or their property is damaged, this hot stinky prank can result in an embarrassing blemish on a person's criminal record.
5. Wet-Willys Are Assaults
While seeing someone convulse to the disturbingly squishy feeling of getting a saliva-tainted finger shoved in their ear may result in great pleasure to the owner of the now wet and waxy finger, under the law, giving a wet-willy can be considered assault. While siblings may not call the police, strangers, and cops, might.
ProTip: Absolutely avoid giving law enforcement officers wet-willys. Assaults on officers where bodily fluids are involved can be prosecuted much more severely than regular assaults on officers.