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

Vending machines are a convenient way to buy snacks and drinks, but what happens when they malfunction and refuse to dispense your product? In frustration, you might be tempted to give the machine a shake. But before you do, you should know that shaking a vending machine can be illegal in some states, including Pennsylvania.

Is it illegal to shake a vending machine in Pennsylvania?

Yes, it is illegal to shake a vending machine in Pennsylvania. This is because shaking a vending machine can be considered criminal mischief, which is a misdemeanor offense. Under Pennsylvania law, criminal mischief is defined as the intentional damage or destruction of property belonging to another person.

What the law says

The specific law that applies to shaking a vending machine in Pennsylvania is Section 3504 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. This law states that a person is guilty of criminal mischief if they:

  • Intentionally damage or destroy tangible property of another
  • Recklessly tamper with tangible property of another in a manner that is likely to result in substantial inconvenience to another

Shaking a vending machine can be considered criminal mischief under either of these provisions. If you are caught shaking a vending machine, you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense and face the following penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $2,500
  • Restitution to the owner of the vending machine for any damage caused

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the law that prohibits shaking a vending machine in Pennsylvania. These exceptions include:

  • If you are shaking the vending machine in an attempt to dislodge a product that is stuck
  • If you have reasonable cause to believe that the vending machine is malfunctioning and that shaking it will not cause any damage
  • If you have the permission of the owner of the vending machine to shake it

Potential penalties

If you are caught shaking a vending machine in Pennsylvania, you could face a number of potential penalties, including:

  • A criminal record
  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Community service

In addition to these legal penalties, you could also be sued by the owner of the vending machine for any damage that you cause.

Tips for avoiding legal trouble

Here are a few tips for avoiding legal trouble when using a vending machine in Pennsylvania:

  • Do not shake the vending machine if your product does not come out
  • Report any malfunctions to the vending machine company
  • Do not attempt to repair the vending machine yourself
  • Do not use any objects to try to get your product out of the vending machine
  • If you see someone else shaking a vending machine, report them to the authorities

Conclusion

Shaking a vending machine is illegal in Pennsylvania and can result in a number of serious penalties. If you are having trouble with a vending machine, it is best to report the problem to the vending machine company or to the owner of the property where the machine is located. By following these tips, you can avoid legal trouble and ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience using vending machines.

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