Before you decide to toilet paper somebody’s house, you need to understand that there are consequences for everything you do. In some instances, those consequences can be pretty severe.
Toilet papering a house may serve as a fun prank on a friend, family member, or enemy. However, it’s essential to weigh the legal consequences—such as trespassing and vandalism charges—with the personal satisfaction that the act brings.
Good intentions are not always enough, and not everybody will take lightly to having any type of toilet paper thrown over their home.
This article will help you understand what you might or might not be getting into before you grab a toilet paper supply of popular toilet paper brands for pranking your neighbors.
Why Would You Toilet Paper A House?
Throwing a roll of toilet paper at a house is a common rite of passage for people seeking acceptance into a specific group or society. Toilet papering a house also gets carried out as a joke, prank, or punishment for a lost bet.
These are activities most associated with young people, either in high school or college, who usually perform them on specific holidays or events like Halloween, Homecoming, Graduation, or April Fool’s Day.
However, throwing conventional toilet paper (and other household items like eggs) over a house may also be an act of revenge from a former friend or partner (usually an ex).
This would invariably be a more malicious act, done without the homeowner’s approval, and would probably constitute some form of vandalism or damage to property. There might even be some form of trauma for the victim.
At some point, the lines become blurred when toilet papering a house, and—depending on the circumstances—the consequences can become quite serious.
Before you consider toilet papering a house, it is vital to have sufficient clarity on where you are most likely to stand when dealing with the law after the fact.
Is Toilet Papering A House Illegal?
Toilet papering a house could be illegal and potentially constitute several criminal offenses, including trespassing, littering, damage to property, vandalism, or even harassment.
While there is no law against tossing those rolls of toilet paper itself over American households, you can be charged with criminal mischief in some parts of the United States.
Does Toilet Papering Count As Vandalism?
Yes, toilet papering can count as vandalism, especially if law enforcement can prove that the activity caused some damage to the property owner’s home.
In most instances, proving that will be strenuous, though.
If you are going to toilet paper somebody’s home as an act of malice, and without their approval, you are exposing yourself to legal risks.
Depending on how well the victim receives toilet papering, the matter could quickly escalate into undesirable consequences like lawsuits.
What Will Happen If You Toilet Paper A House In California?
If you toilet paper a house in California, you can be charged with malicious damage to property, destruction of another person’s property, or defacing another person’s property. The scale of the damage will determine whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony.
You could spend up to a year in jail or pay a fine of up to $1000. If you really got carried away with those paper products, you can expect to be punished with both jail time and a fine.
If you are only charged with trespassing, you can still face as many as six months in jail or a fine of $1000.
What Will Happen If You Toilet Paper A House In New York?
If you toilet paper a house in New York, you can be charged with criminal mischief, which is a Class D felony. The worst-case scenario is that you cause more than $1500 of damages, which can put you in jail for up to seven years.
However, if it ever gets to that, some mitigating factors could work in your favor. One of these would be a lack of intent to harm, while the other would be causing damages worth less than $1500.
If it is determined that the damage caused while toilet papering a house in New York is purely accidental, you could actually escape criminal liability altogether.
If you are nabbed for trespassing, you are only likely to be sentenced to 15 days. Trespassing in New York is only a violation—not something as serious as a misdemeanor or felony.
What Will Happen If You Toilet Paper A House In Texas?
If you toilet paper a house in Texas, you can be charged with reckless damage or destruction to property, which is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas. For that, you are most likely to be slapped with a $500 fine.
However, depending on the extent of the damage you cause, that can readily escalate to a Class A or B misdemeanor. In these circumstances, you could pay fines of up to $4000 or spend up to a year in jail.
If you are nabbed for trespassing in Texas, which seems the more likely scenario, you can expect up to 180 days in jail or a fine of up to $2000. So, even if you are just charged with trespassing, the consequences can be pretty severe.
What Will Happen If You Toilet Paper A House In Illinois?
If you toilet paper a house in Illinois, you can be charged with a Class B or Class A misdemeanor. For committing these infractions, you can be fined anything between $500 to $2000. In a serious scenario, you can expect to spend as much as one year in jail.
Depending on the scale of the damage and the type of building you have damaged, the legal consequences can escalate dramatically in Illinois.
The Final Verdict
In many instances, the situation will not get as serious as we have indicated above because most people have a decent sense of humor and can take a joke.
However, you should never rule out the possibility of upsetting the wrong person. If that happens, you also don’t want to anger that person in the wrong state, where law enforcement is less likely to be lenient.
You should also consider that a seemingly innocuous joke only requires a single roll of toilet paper to hit one wrong wire or one wrong window for the damage to escalate to an astronomical amount. As fun as it seems, sometimes the chance just isn’t worth taking.