Is Ding-Dong-Ditching a Prank or a Crime in Washington State?
Is Ding Dong Ditching Considered A Crime In Washington State?
Ding-Dong-Ditching, a prank where a person rings someone's doorbell or knocks on their door and runs away before they answer, is a common form of mischief that many kids and teenagers engage in.
Can Your Kids Get Arrested For Ding-Dong Ditching In Washington State?
However, as harmless as it may seem, the question remains, is it a prank or a crime in Washington State?
I know as a kid, my brothers and sisters and I would terrorize the neighborhood but it was a much simpler time in the 80s.
I haven't been a teen for years but it got me wondering if I was breaking the law as a kid and here's what the laws pertaining to today's kids and pranks
According to RCW 9A.52., a person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if they enter or remain unlawfully on someone's property, but the law does not explicitly mention Ding-Dong-Ditching.
If a person repeatedly engages in Ding-Dong-Ditching, it may be considered harassment, which is against the law.
In Washington, harassment is defined as knowingly threatening or striking another person, or engaging in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to suffer significant emotional distress.
Ding-Dong-Ditching can also be regarded as a form of trespassing, which is a violation of property rights. If the person does Ding-Dong-Ditching on private property or gated communities, it can lead to legal issues.
Sometimes, Ding-Dong-Ditching can turn into vandalism or property damage, which can be considered a criminal act. For example, if the person Ding-Dong-Ditches, and then sprinkles mud on the doorstep or smashes a window, it can lead to arrest or lawsuit.
Ding-Dong-Ditching is not explicitly mentioned in Washington State law.
However, engaging in Ding-Dong-Ditching can result in legal problems. Its seriousness depends largely on the circumstances under which it occurs, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Looking back, I'm glad I had some pretty cool neighbors because the whole Ding-Dong Ditching could've gone another way for us.