If prank calling is a crime, a lot of us are guilty of it. Some prank calls may be harmless, but others are clearly not. Prank calling may have been an essential and fun part of the sleepovers along with marshmallows and hot cocoa by the fire, it is often a source of irritation and distress to the receivers.
Prank calling may mean trouble for you depending on the kind of call it is or where the call is made to. Let me give you a few examples.
Can You Get In Trouble For Prank Calling?
Prank calls may be done with harmless intentions, but some prank calls are enough to make a person feel irritated, hateful, and also unsafe.
It is probably going to be disappointing for one who may be looking to make prank calls now, but prank calls can indeed get you into legal trouble. There are federal and state laws that can get you punished for prank calls.
What Is A Prank Call?
Chances are that we all already know the answer to this question. A call is a prank when it is made by a person with the intention of playing or while the person is making a practical joke. Prank callers usually do it for the fun of it, when they are dared to, or for some other reason.
Prank Call Gone Wrong
Suppose you have made a prank call to a local business and things do not exactly pan out the way you had planned. You could end up being a felon, or could be charged with a misdemeanor. You are looking at fines, and even jail time if things get too serious.
How Much Trouble Can You Get In For Prank Calling?
Earlier, phones hardly had the feature of IDs and caller recognition. Prank calls could hardly be traced back to the concerned person. However, with the passage of time, the advent of smartphones, and technology, prank calls are now easily traceable. Call recordings can even be produced in court as evidence.
What Charges Can Prank Calling Get You Into?
Prank calls can bring about some pretty serious charges against you. Some of these might get you arrested. Let us know more about these charges.
Amongst all the charges, this is the most common one. Your prank calls can lead to harassment of the receivers and they might sue you for the same.
If you are, for example, repeatedly calling someone and making disrespectful statements, they might as well go to the police and lodge a complaint against the prank caller.
2. Wire Tapping
It is illegal to record calls without letting the person know that they are being recorded. If you are recording one’s conversation for the purpose of using them later online, this is a felony. The person being recorded has to provide their consent.
3. Hate Crimes
If discriminatory and derogatory behavior is being carried on through prank calls, in that case, the prank callers can be charged with hate crimes. Hate crimes are derogatory remarks and behavior meted out to a certain community or a person often attacking them on their race, religion, gender identity, and other personal grounds.
4. Bomb Threats
When something as serious as a bomb threat is used as a means of a practical joke, the authorities consider it to be a crime of a very serious nature. Bomb treats are not to be taken lightly.
Prank calls on the matter make it difficult for the authorities to identify the true cries for help in such situations.
5. Prank Calls On 911
This again is considered to be a very serious crime as 911 and other emergency numbers such as the police stations are meant for people who are stuck in dangerous or difficult situations. When prank-calling such numbers, there is a great chance that the person actually requiring help might not be able to reach out.
Can You Get In Trouble For Prank Calling McDonald’s?
This is a very genuine question. If you are calling McDonald’s and ordering KFC’s chicken sandwich combo, however inconvenient it might be for the staff, it cannot get you into legal trouble.
Although, if you prank call McDonald’s to “warn” them about the bomb in their kitchen(obviously, there is no bomb), it could surely land you in some hot waters.
On a lighter note, if you prank calls them and knowingly give them the wrong address, you have exposed yourself to potential felony charges. You have wasted their time which could be used by them to prepare other orders.
McDonald’s or other food chains often let such things slide because they are very common with kids, however, that might not always be the case.
And It’s A Legal Wrap
Prank calls may seem like a small joke meant to be pretty harmless but it will not end up being so once one is convicted of a crime that emerges as a result of this little joke. Prank callers are often dissuaded on these grounds.
Apart from these prank calls often end up having distinct mental effects on the receivers. Prank calls have been seen as something often done by stalkers or people having other negative intentions. Thus, it is only justified that the law punishes such behavior.