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

Vending machines offer a convenient way to purchase snacks and drinks on the go. However, when frustration strikes due to a malfunctioning machine, some people may resort to shaking it in an attempt to dislodge their desired item. But what are the legal implications of such actions in the state of Illinois? Is it illegal to shake a vending machine, and if so, what are the potential consequences?

This article delves into the legalities surrounding shaking a vending machine in Illinois by examining relevant statutes within the Illinois Criminal Code and exploring potential consequences for such actions. Additionally, it suggests alternative solutions to address vending machine malfunctions without resorting to potentially illegal means.

Illinois Criminal Code:

The Illinois Criminal Code outlines various offenses related to property damage, disorderly conduct, and trespass, which can apply to shaking a vending machine depending on the severity of the act and the resulting damage.

Specific Statutes:

Here are three relevant statutes within the Illinois Criminal Code that could potentially apply to shaking a vending machine:

  1. Criminal Damage to Property (720 ILCS 5/21-1):

This statute prohibits intentionally damaging or destroying the property of another without their consent. Shaking a vending machine with sufficient force to cause damage, such as dents, scratches, or broken glass, could be considered a violation of this law. The severity of the offense and potential penalties depend on the value of the damaged property.

  1. Disorderly Conduct (720 ILCS 5/25-1):

This statute prohibits actions that create alarm, inconvenience, or annoyance to others. Shaking a vending machine in a public place, particularly if it creates a loud noise or attracts unwanted attention, could be considered disorderly conduct. The penalties for this offense vary depending on the circumstances and the presence of prior convictions.

  1. Criminal Trespass to Property (720 ILCS 5/24-1):

This statute prohibits entering or remaining on the property of another without their consent. Shaking a vending machine located on private property, such as inside a business or apartment building, could be considered criminal trespass if done without permission from the owner or manager. Penalties for this offense also depend on the specific circumstances.

Potential Consequences:

Shaking a vending machine in Illinois could result in various consequences, including:

  • Fines: Depending on the specific offense, fines can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
  • Jail time: For more serious offenses, such as causing substantial property damage, jail time may be imposed.
  • Restitution: You may be required to pay for any damage caused to the vending machine.
  • Criminal record: A conviction for any of the above offenses can result in a criminal record, which can negatively impact employment opportunities, housing applications, and other aspects of your life.

Alternatives to Shaking a Vending Machine:

Instead of resorting to shaking a vending machine, consider trying the following alternatives:

  • Report the malfunction: Notify the owner or manager of the vending machine about the malfunction. They can attempt to fix the problem or refund your money.
  • Contact the vending machine company: Most vending machines have contact information displayed on the machine. You can report the issue directly to the company for assistance.
  • Try a different machine: If the malfunctioning machine won’t dispense your chosen item, try another vending machine in the vicinity.
  • Move on and try again later: Sometimes, a temporary issue might cause the malfunction. Try using the machine again later to see if the problem has resolved itself.


While shaking a vending machine might seem like a quick solution to a frustrating situation, it’s important to be aware of the potential legal consequences. In Illinois, such actions may violate various statutes, leading to fines, jail time, and other penalties. By considering alternative solutions and understanding the legal implications, you can avoid unnecessary trouble and find a more effective way to resolve the vending machine malfunction.

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