Pranks and Punishment
Gags, stunts, and pranks are a major part of what our culture considers entertainment. From teenagers wrapping a neighbor’s trees in toilet paper to the countless “hidden-camera” television shows that prey on celebrities and common folk alike, we seem fixed on the idea that mischief and mayhem at another’s expense is good for a laugh.
Unfortunately, our practical jokes and tricks can sometimes get out of hand, with much more serious consequences than we intended. For example, a British man recently suffered severe burns after a night of drinking when a friend jokingly set fire to his shoe laces as he lay passed out. The man eventually had to have the lower half of his leg removed due to the extent of his wounds, and his friend was ordered to four years in prison. A New Zealand man was similarly sentenced to several years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter when he set fire to a co-worker’s grass skirt costume at a Christmas party.
In some cases closer to home, two Carolinian brothers were ordered to several months of probation and 72 hours of community service after dumping the body of a dead bear on their university’s campus, and a Tennessee man received a year of jail time for a prank call about infected meat to his local grocery store.
The idea of a prank is that it surprises or upsets someone but does not do any lasting harm. All of these incidents started out in the pranksters’ minds as a joke and quickly escalated to something much more serious.
If a prank you, a friend, or a family member pulled has resulted in criminal charges, it can be very difficult to defend yourself, even if your intentions were innocent enough. For help in fighting this kind of case, contact the experienced team of criminal defense attorneys at the San Jose law offices of Daniel Jensen, P.C. by calling (408) 296-4100 today.