Is It Illegal To Shake A Vending Machine In Arizona? Here’s What the Law Says

Vending machines are a convenient way to get a quick snack or drink, but what happens when the machine doesn’t dispense your item? In some cases, people might resort to shaking the machine in an attempt to dislodge their item. But is this legal? This article explores the legality of shaking a vending machine in Arizona.

Arizona Laws on Vending Machine Tampering

There are no specific laws in Arizona that directly address shaking a vending machine. However, there are several laws that could apply depending on the circumstances. These include:

  • Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-1602: This law prohibits criminal damage. It states that a person commits criminal damage if they knowingly damage or destroy property belonging to another person without their consent. Shaking a vending machine in a way that causes damage could be considered a violation of this law.
  • A.R.S. § 13-1802: This law prohibits theft. It states that a person commits theft if they knowingly control property belonging to another person with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. If someone shakes a vending machine and causes an item to fall out, and they then take the item without paying for it, they could be charged with theft.
  • A.R.S. § 13-1203: This law prohibits disorderly conduct. It states that a person commits disorderly conduct if they intentionally or recklessly create a public inconvenience or alarm. Shaking a vending machine in a public place could be considered disorderly conduct if it disrupts others or creates a safety hazard.

Factors to Consider

Whether or not shaking a vending machine is considered illegal in Arizona will depend on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the damage: If the shaking causes significant damage to the machine, it is more likely to be considered criminal damage.
  • The intent of the person shaking the machine: If the person is simply trying to dislodge their item, they are less likely to be charged with a crime than if they are trying to damage the machine or steal from it.
  • The location of the vending machine: Shaking a vending machine in a public place is more likely to be considered disorderly conduct than shaking a machine in a private location.

Alternatives to Shaking a Vending Machine

If your item does not dispense from a vending machine, there are several alternatives to shaking it:

  • Report the issue to the vending machine company: Most companies have a customer service number or website where you can report problems.
  • Contact the owner of the location where the vending machine is located: They may be able to help you get your item or refund your money.
  • Try using a different payment method: Some vending machines accept different forms of payment, such as credit cards or debit cards.
  • Wait for a while and try again: Sometimes, vending machines simply need a few minutes to reset.


While there are no specific laws in Arizona that prohibit shaking a vending machine, it could be considered illegal depending on the circumstances. If you are unsure whether or not it is legal to shake a vending machine, it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid doing so. There are several alternatives available that are less likely to get you into trouble.

Additional Information

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

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