Home Law Facts Is ding dong ditching illegal? Here’s what the law says

Is ding dong ditching illegal? Here’s what the law says

Is ding dong ditching illegal?

Is ding dong ditching illegal? The childhood prank you have always thought to be harmless may constitute illegality, and it may even be considered a severe crime under some circumstances.

In this article, we take a look at the position of the law on Ding dong ditching or what is known as Knock Knock Ginger in England.

What is Ding Dong Ditching?

It is a childhood prank that involves ringing the doorbell of a house and running away before the occupants open the gate to check who is at the door. The name of the prank is of two parts which in itself tells what the trick is all about. Ding Dong (The sound of a doorbell) and Ditching (running away from something).

There are several variations of Ding Dong ditching, including throwing objects at doors and a dangerous version known as Billy Madison Style ding dong ditching, which involves burning excreta in front of a door.

Is ding dong ditching illegal?

The simple answer is Yes, Ding dong ditching is illegal. First of all, entering someone’s property without their permission is known as trespassing. Depending on the circumstances, trespassing can be a serious crime or a minor infraction. Below are some of the charges ding dong ditchers may face if arrested.

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Since ding dong ditching pranksters do not seek the permission of the property owners, they’re liable for trespassing, a criminal and civil offense usually classified as a misdemeanor. A first offender may get away with a warning as it may be difficult to prosecute, but a repeat offense on the same person or community can result in prosecution.

Some states require property owners to post signs such as “No Entry” or “No trespassing” to serve as an adequate warning. But simply telling someone not to trespass is warning enough. In a state like Kentucky, penalties for trespassing can include a jail sentence of up to 1-year fines of up to $500.

Ding dong ditching can also give rise to civil suits. Trespassing infringes on the property owner’s rights, and they can seek damages for that infringement, especially in circumstances where property damage occurs during the trespassing.

The adjudicating court will decide the damages to be awarded depending on the circumstances and extent of damage during the ding dong ditching. However, minimal damages may be awarded since basic ding dong ditching doesn’t involve property destruction.

Ding dong ditching may amount to harassment, and it is worthy of note that a parent may be liable if they helped their child commit the offense.

Is ding dong ditching illegal in the UK?

Yes, according to the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, 28 clause F35. You can be sentenced to prison for a period not exceeding fourteen days for ding dong ditching, also known as Knock Knock Ginger.

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The law states that it is an offense to “wilfully and wantonly disturb any inhabitant, by pulling or ringing any door bell, or knocking at any door,…”

Home pranking in Pennsylvania

Yes. If you wantonly and willfully disturb another person with loud and unreasonable noises, you commit the offense of Disturbing the peace and faces a sentence of up to 90days, a fine of up to $400, or both.

Is egging a house illegal?

Throwing eggs at the property of others such as cars, houses is illegal in most US states and amounts to vandalism. Damaging property in your egging expedition will see you face charges for criminal mischief too.

If convicted, a person faces up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Sentence could escalate in cases where damages occurred by the egging.

is prank calling illegal?

Prank calling is illegal in most US states because it is counted as a form of harassment. Calling others as a form of prank could see you put before a judge to face charges for harassment, stalking and bullying. There are several ways police can track a prank caller and therefore it is a mistake to think you’re completely anonymous while prank calling others.

Can you call the police for ding dong ditching

Yes, the prank is an offense, and you can call the police on such pranksters disturbing your peace. 

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What can cops do about ding dong ditching

If the victim of a ding dong ditching calls the police on you, you may be arrested or let off with a warning. If the ding dong ditching circumstances are severe, such as damage to property, you may be arrested and charged with trespassing and mischief.

As already indicated, a first-time offender may receive a warning, but the persistent disturbance of the peace can lead to instant arrest and prosecution.

How long can you go to jail for ding dong ditching

You can go to jail for a maximum of 5 years, depending on the circumstances and the damages caused by the ding dong ditching prank.

Conclusion

To answer the question, is ding dong ditching illegal? We have looked at the laws that make the prank illegal, and the penalties offenders may face. Even though it may seem harmless, ding dong ditching is unlawful because it infringes on the rights of others and disturbs the peace.

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