Legal Guides

Is Prank Calling Illegal Offense? Things To Know Before Placing A Call

Prank calling can be fun at times when you do it with your peers. But in a sensitive place, if you do prank calls, you may have to face severe consequences. Is prank calling illegal? It is not only doubt but a general awareness question that you must know correctly.

Is The Prank Calling Illegal?

Prank calls can be treated as illegal calls depending on the situation. Making prank calls can become dangerous as it can be considered an annoyance and a way of harassment to someone.

In some cases, the Prank calls are forwarded to 911 for taking action against Prank callers. Illegal wiretapping falls under the category of prank calls. Misunderstanding of the circumstances is the cause. This is the reason why is prank calling illegal

When The Prank Phone Calling Is Illegal?

When The Prank Phone Calling Is Illegal?

There are certain situations where a prank phone call can make things more complicated for yourself. Some of the scenarios where prank phone calls are considered illegal are as follows:-

  • If it annoys you.
  • If the call is made with the intention to harass someone.
  • When the call is forwarded with the objective of threatening the recipient.

It can also be considered illegal if you maintain disorderly conduct.

  • It amounts to some disorderly conduct.
  • When they are obscene.
  • Sometimes the prank caller records the call without seeking the consent of the recipient.
  • In most cases, the call to 911 for tackle another emergency response number.

In What States Is Prank Calling Illegal?

There are many states who rely on general criminal laws for prosecuting prank callers. In most cases, the prank callers have to maintain some common laws some of them are as follows:-

  • For making disorderly conduct.
  • In case of stalking.
  • For handling harassment.
  • Reducing the chances of domestic violence.

If you have queries like in what states is prank calling illegal. Then the first name which comes to my mind is the name of California. The California State of Law states a certain Penal code of 653M Pc. It prohibits the call if you do it on an intentional basis.

  • If you use obscene language then things going to be worse for you in California’s state law.
  • If you threaten the recipient’s family or the property then charges can be higher.
  • When you make repeated calls to annoy the recipient or any other person.

Punishment Against The Violation Of Rules Reagrading Prank Calls

Violations of the law due to the Misdeamenors in California is a punishable offense its consequences are as follows:

  • You have to sentence to Jail for 6months.
  • A fine of up to $1000 you will have to pay in case you make prank calls.
  • Is prank calling Illegal the answer is yes if the harassment is high then you have to face the legal consequences? Try to make fewer prank calls for your own good. 

Read More About: Posting Or Sharing Explicit Photos Of Someone Without That Person’s Permission Is Sexual Harassment

Is Prank Calling Illegal When You Do It Against A Business House?

Is Prank Calling Illegal When You Do It Against A Business House?

Yes in certain scenarios, it can make you fall into a trap as many countries do not differentiate between prank-calling individuals and businesses. It actually means it is a crime when you do a prank calling for a business purpose.

In most cases making the prank orders over the call lead to serious liability. The California law is a bit strict in making prank calls to the business and you have to abide by the law of the land.

Sometimes making prank calls can lead to fake orders which can ruin the reputation of the business. You must be careful about this fact while you want to get rid of such uncomfortable situations.

Can You Get Arrested For Prank Calling?

Can You Get Arrested For Prank Calling?

You can fall in trouble for making a prank call if you do things intentionally and if it is being proven in a court of law. There are certain scenarios where you may have to face the harsh consequences some of them are as follows:-

1. Harassment


There is a thin line between making a prank call or making a call intentionally for harassing someone by calling over the phone.

It can prove to be unlawful if you call somebody late at night and say something stupid to that person.

Now, if you threaten someone day after day by making stupid calls late at night then you are surely violating the rules of the land.

2. Making Disorderly Conduct

Making Disorderly Conduct

Here, making disorderly conduct means you are making offensive and abusive language with an intention to arouse anger in others.

This type of behavior over a call in the name of a prank call is a punishable offense and you have to pay a heavy penalty for making such misconduct over a call.

Verbal abuse and demeaning conduct can make things severe for you.

3. Hate Crimes

Hate crimes are similar to harassment.

Here, the underlying motive of the person is to make the underlying characteristics of that person demonish in the name of religion, nationality, and race.

If you do mockery of a person who has a heavy accent, then it will lead to hate crimes and is a punishable offense in the eyes of the law.

Raed More: Is It Illegal To Open Someone Else’s Mail?

4. Wiretapping

It is an illegal offense that you tap or record the phone calls of the other person without his consent. Is prank calling illegal is not a problem but rather a concern that youngsters create in society right now? 

Still, many teenagers tap the calls with the motive of making the prank calls for exchanging some funny experience with their friends.

These types of actions are not at all acceptable at the time of making a call in many states. You must be aware that making such a recording can be a part of a felony at the time of trial.

These are some scenarios that can make your life difficult if you are not cautious about it. Do not disturb someone against their wishes.

Is Prank Calling 911 Illegal? 

We all know about 911 and we can’t thank enough for its contribution to our society. Obviously, prank calling 911 does have severe consequences. 

The court condemns prank calling any emergency services. Prank calling 911 would land you in jail for a year or a $1,000 fine if it is your first offense. 

However, repeated prank calls can lead to extra jail time or even higher fines. If you make calls informing a non-existent threat, this can lead you to getting felony charges. 

Exceptions to Prank Calls 

Every law has its loopholes. It is similar in this case as well. If the prank calls are just for fun and are not harming or harassing an individual, the calls aren’t against the law. It completely depends upon the context and the content of the call. 

Let’s find some fruitful examples that would help you answer your questions properly. You might be asking, “Is it illegal to prank call a fast food place?” No, it isn’t. However, it should have some limits. Practical jokes are always welcome in any case. But if the joke takes an ugly turn of harassment, then it is counted as a legitimate offense. 

As your first offense, police would let you get off it by treating it as a misdemeanor nad taking a fine from you. 

If your prank call is harming the reputation of the restaurant, then they can file for defamation against you. So, be extra careful when you think about prank-calling someone. 

Psychological Impacts of Prank Calls 

You probably have made the prank call as a form of a practical joke, but it can severely affect the mental health of the person who’s on the receiving end of it. It can severely harm them psychologically. This results in feelings of fear, humiliation, and even anxiety disorders.

Sometimes the emotional distress might last longer and they might have to undergo treatment to get out of it. This can cause trouble in sleeping, and concentrating, and might even feel that they don’t belong to society.  So be careful about a person’s personal space before making a prank call.

Final Take Away

Hence, these are some of the essential facts you must consider while you are making a prank call to someone.

Remember one thing that making a prank is acceptable but harassing someone in the name of making a prank is not at all acceptable in the eyes of law.

I think you will agree with my point of view. The fun remains fun unless it does not cross its limit. Do not spoil your fun by harassing someone on a prank call. Is prank calling illegal I think you got the answer to this question clearly. 

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