Many that us are guilty of make prank calls when we were younger. When I was very young, ns unknowingly made a prank call by phone call a pizza place, saying “Hello, one pizza please!” favor some cartoons do prior to hanging up, genuinely reasoning that was enough to get a pizza ceded to me.

You are watching: Can u get arrested for prank calling

Prank calls favor these are generally harmless, however not all of them are. Some room hurtful, hateful, and can also make the person being pranked feeling unsafe. In these cases, friend can acquire arrested for prank call for various reasons. Here’s why.

What specifies Prank Calling?

Something is thought about a prank contact when the caller calls a person with the will of play a handy joke. A prank caller have the right to 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 simply randomly dial a number.

In the early on ’80s and ’90s, that was really easy come prank contact people due to the fact that there to be no method for the receiver to understand the variety of who to be calling. Through the so late ’90s onwards, more telephones, cellphones, and also smartphones had actually caller ID, making the more complicated for prank callers to continue to be anonymous.

Can You acquire Arrested because that Prank Calling?

GIF indigenous Giphy

That counts on factors like that you’re pranking and what you’re speak to them. Prank calling is taken into consideration a nuisance contact as it is both unwanted and solicited. Many prank calls room in the same organization as silent calls, target dials, and telemarketing calls. Taking this come court would certainly be thought about a weak criminal case because, although annoying and obnoxious, this calls just waste her time, i m sorry isn’t really versus the law.

However, part prank callers tend to go overboard through their calls. They finish up saying points that space obscene, offensive, or just downright threaten the receiver’s safety. Also if this is an empty threat, threatening violence is a criminal act. Once it is that severe, girlfriend can get arrested.

In 1995, for example, Canadian DJ Pierre Brassard impersonated previous Canadian element Minister Jean Chrétien and also successfully prank called Queen Elizabeth II.

What Brassard did was obnoxious, however there to be nothing versus the law around what he claimed to Elizabeth II. Yet had he harassed her, insulted her, or stated anything offensive, that would more than likely have finished up behind bars.

What kinds of Prank Calling deserve to You gain Arrested For?

You’re i can not qualify to acquire reported on if you’re prank calling your friends or close family members members. Few of them may not take it likely, and it’ll be complicated to prank call due to the fact that most telephones and also smartphones have actually caller ID.

However, call a stranger or a service may no slide therefore easily. In fact, you might be charged with particular crimes prefer the following. If discovered guilty of this crimes, you might be arrested and required to appear in court. Just how long a trial lasts depends on the severity of her actions.


The most most likely crime girlfriend can obtain arrested for is harassment. Some human being may think her prank is annoying however not worth pressing charges against, but your pranks have the right to cross the threshold in the direction of actually illegal harassment.

Let’s say you make a prank call at 11 PM. It’s very disrespectful especially if that human is very early sleeper, yet they might let the slide. However, if you’re calling number of times a day, making threatening remarks, and have been especially targeting one person, they have a appropriate to contact the police and also you might be tracked and charged through harassment.

Hate Crimes

Hate crimes aren’t restricted to discriminating versus people top top the street based on race, sex or religion. It can likewise be seen with prank calling.

Let’s say that you speak to someone belonging to the LGBT+, a human of a certain religion, race, or nationality. Or, if you contact a stranger in ~ random, you discover through the contact that they space a human of a different demographic. If you start mocking or insulting these things about a person, you can be charged through committing a dislike crime if they select to report you to the police.


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

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

Can You gain Arrested because that Prank call 911?

GIF indigenous Giphy

911 is intended for emergencies only. If girlfriend clogged up the line with a prank call, you might be delaying a person who genuinely needs help from reaching an operator. So, some claims make it a serious offense come prank contact 911 or call for non-emergencies.

States have their own laws versus 911 prank callers. This can selection between fines or jail time. In Virginia, because that example, make a false report can earn girlfriend a $2,500, a year in jail, or both. In California, calling 911 come harass other human being (e.g. Claiming your neighbor’s house is top top fire therefore their home will it is in swarmed by firemen) can warrant a $1,000 fine, 6 months in jail, or both, while recurring non-emergency calls can lead to a $200 fine per call.

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

This uses to every restaurants and also other businesses. It really relies on what you do when you call. Call a McDonald’s and asking because that a Whopper may be annoying and obnoxious, but it’s no illegal. However, call a McDonald’s, ordering 100 large Macs, and also sending them to a random ar is thought about a crime due to the fact that you now owe them around $350.

See more: The Horse Has Left The Barn " Mean? Horse Has Left The Barn

While part prank phone call won’t get you arrested, it’s finest not to prank contact anyone in ~ all. You may not get arrested, however you’ll it is in wasting people’s time or capturing them in ~ a poor time.