Many that us space guilty of make prank calls when we to be younger. As soon as I was really young, i unknowingly made a prank call by phone call a pizza place, speak “Hello, one pizza please!” favor some cartoons do before hanging up, genuinely thinking that was enough to get a pizza ceded to me.

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Prank calls choose these are generally harmless, yet not every one of them are. Some room hurtful, hateful, and also can even make the person being pranked feeling unsafe. In these cases, girlfriend can get arrested because that prank calling for various reasons. Here’s why.

What specifies Prank Calling?

Something is taken into consideration a prank speak to when the caller phone call a person with the intent of play a useful joke. A prank caller can be doing this because that fun, together a dare, or for any kind of other reason. They deserve to prank speak to someone lock know, a company number, or just randomly dial a number.

In the at an early stage ’80s and ’90s, it was very easy come prank contact people because there was no means for the recipient to recognize the number of who was calling. Through the late ’90s onwards, an ext telephones, cellphones, and also smartphones had actually caller ID, making the more difficult for prank callers to continue to be anonymous.

Can You obtain Arrested because that Prank Calling?

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That relies on factors like that you’re pranking and what you’re speak to them. Prank calling is taken into consideration a nuisance speak to as the is both unwanted and solicited. Many prank calls space in the same organization as quiet calls, butt dials, and also telemarketing calls. Taking this come court would be considered a weak criminal instance because, return annoying and also obnoxious, these calls only waste your time, i beg your pardon isn’t really versus the law.

However, part prank callers often tend to walk overboard with their calls. They finish up saying things that are obscene, offensive, or simply downright threatening the receiver’s safety. Also if this is an north threat, threatening violence is a criminal act. As soon as it is the severe, you can obtain arrested.

In 1995, because that example, Canadian DJ Pierre Brassard impersonated former Canadian element Minister Jean Chrétien and also successfully prank referred to as Queen Elizabeth II.

What Brassard did was obnoxious, yet there to be nothing against the law around what he stated to Elizabeth II. But had that harassed her, insulted her, or stated anything offensive, he would most likely have finished up behind bars.

What kinds of Prank Calling can You get Arrested For?

You’re i can not qualify to gain reported ~ above if you’re prank calling your friends or close family members members. Several of them may not take it likely, and also it’ll be complicated to prank call since most telephones and also smartphones have actually caller ID.

However, phone call a stranger or a organization may no slide therefore easily. In fact, you might be fee with specific crimes like the following. If uncovered guilty of these crimes, you may be arrested and required to appear in court. Just how long a trial lasts counts on the severity of your actions.


The most likely crime you can acquire arrested because that is harassment. Some human being may think your prank is annoying however not worth pushing charges against, yet your pranks deserve to cross the threshold in the direction of actually illegal harassment.

Let’s speak you do a prank contact at 11 PM. It’s very disrespectful specifically if that person is very early sleeper, however they may let it slide. However, if you’re calling numerous times a day, making threaten remarks, and have been specifically targeting one person, they have actually a appropriate to call the police and you could be tracked and charged v harassment.

Hate Crimes

Hate crimes aren’t restricted to discriminating against people ~ above the street based upon race, gender or religion. It can additionally be seen with prank calling.

Let’s say the you speak to someone belonging come the LGBT+, a person of a certain religion, race, or nationality. Or, if you contact a stranger in ~ random, you discover through the contact that they are a person of a various demographic. If you begin mocking or insulting this things about a person, you deserve to be charged with committing a hate crime if they pick to report you come the police.


Ever wonder why, when calling a company or organization, exactly how they always have come tell your callers the the contact is gift recorded? This is because it is practically always illegal to document a phone contact or private conversation unless both the caller and the recipient are conscious that they space being recorded.

If you room prank calling for the benefits of record calls come share online, this could be thought about a felony. This is because you execute not have the receiver’s consent to document them.

Can You obtain Arrested because that Prank call 911?

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911 is expected for emergencies only. If you clogged increase the line through a prank call, you can be delaying a human who genuinely needs assist from reaching an operator. So, some says make the a significant offense come prank call 911 or speak to for non-emergencies.

States have actually their own laws against 911 prank callers. These can selection between fines or jail time. In Virginia, because that example, making a false report deserve to earn friend a $2,500, a year in jail, or both. In California, call 911 come harass other civilization (e.g. Claiming your neighbor’s home is ~ above fire so their home will it is in swarmed through firemen) deserve to warrant a $1,000 fine, 6 months in jail, or both, while repetitive non-emergency calls can lead to a $200 fine per call.

Can You obtain Arrested because that Prank call McDonald’s?

This applies to all restaurants and other businesses. It really counts on what girlfriend do when you call. Calling a McDonald’s and also asking for a Whopper might be annoying and also obnoxious, yet it’s not illegal. However, call a McDonald’s, notified 100 big Macs, and also sending them come a random location is thought about a crime since you now owe them roughly $350.

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While part prank call won’t get you arrested, it’s best not to prank contact anyone in ~ all. You might not gain arrested, but you’ll be wasting people’s time or capturing them at a bad time.