Could You be Arrested for an “Innocent” Prank?

Categories: Criminal Defense

CO Criminal Defense Lawyer Fighting Charges for Student Pranksters

Pranks are something seen by most as innocent, but as far as the law is concerned, some seemingly innocent jokes are serious criminal offenses. Therefore, if you have plans to throw a few senior pranks in the upcoming spring or for the end of the school year, you should be informed about what pranks could result in criminal charges – and possibly jail time.

Property damage and injuries are not acceptable. If you are considered negligent, you may not only have criminal charges to worry about, but a personal injury lawsuit, as well.

Standard Pranks that Lead to Criminal Charges

1. Spiking a Drink with Legal Substances

Spiking someone’s drink, even with a legal substance, is illegal. This is particularly the case due to the sensitive nature of spiking drinks with date rape drugs, and these substances (even if safe for some) could result in serious injuries and effects for the victim.

Therefore, spiking someone’s drink – even with a silly or harmless drug – is always illegal. If the person suffers injuries, you could face charges (typically in multiples) for what you assumed was a care-free night of fun.

2. Prank Calling People

The days of prank calls and funny jokes are certainly over. While calling a family or friend may not result in a phone call to law enforcement, if you do prank call strangers, you could face legal trouble. Also, if your prank goes too far, the police could arrest you for harassment. Joking with threats could also result in criminal charges.

3. Vandalism

Vandalism takes many forms, and while it is a common prank, it is still a type of property damage. If you are considering egging someone’s home or tossing toilet paper all over a vehicle, consider the fact that you could be arrested and face jail time, restitution, and fines for doing so.

4. Flaming Bags of Feces

Leaving a flaming bag of feces on someone’s doorstep is thought of as a funny and disgusting prank. However, that bag also increases the risk for serious household fires, injuries, and death. Therefore, law enforcement could arrest you for multiple criminal offenses. If a fire does break out, you would not only be liable for the damages caused by the prank, but could also be charged with arson.

5. Touching People Inappropriately for Dares

Another common prank is the act of daring someone to do something unacceptable, such as touching other people. Whether it is pulling someone’s hair or inappropriately grabbing someone’s private parts, these innocent pranks could result in assault, sexual assault, and other charges. If you were to perform these on a law enforcement officer, the charges would be worse – you could be charged with assault of a police officer.

Arrested for a Prank? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

“Kids will be kids,” is not an excuse in criminal court. If you are arrested for a prank, you must contact a defense attorney immediately. A criminal defense law firm can help you weigh your options, but can also help ensure that you do not go to jail for what you thought was harmless fun.

Contact attorney Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. today to explore your options for criminal defense. Schedule an appointment with him for a free consultation now at 970-704-0888 or request more information online.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.