Is Egging a Car Illegal?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Though eggs are great for breakfast, their uncooked interiors don’t bode well for cars‘ exteriors. In fact, if a vehicle gets hit with eggs, it must be cleaned and detailed right away to protect the paint from corrosion.

At some point in history, young people decided that egging cars and other personal property would be amusing. Though meant as a harmless prank, especially around holidays like Halloween, the practice is anything but funny. It can severely damage vehicles, forcing owners to incur costly repair bills. 

Why do people think egging cars is funny?

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Egging a car is when a person throws an egg at a vehicle. Sometimes it’s to get revenge or take out aggression, and other times it’s random and kids just trying to have fun. Halloween eve, known as Mischief Night, is when egging most frequently occurs.

“Usually, troublesome teens will throw the splat-able objects at houses or cars,” Absolute Bail Bonds explains. “They often find it amusing to watch how the object impacts and leaves a sticky mess. Seeing how the victims react to the mess is another plus to the activity.”

But many people don’t know that egging is a punishable offense in most states. It’s considered an act of vandalism. Depending upon the total cost of damage to an individual’s property, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Common forms of vandalism to cars

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eLocal explains the damage caused by egging thus: “The eggshell scratch the clear coat on the car. The scratches could be superficial, or they [could] be deep enough to penetrate the base coat of paint on the car. The yolk of an egg is acidic and can damage or stain the base coat because it will eat through the clear topcoat.”

Once eggs dry on a car’s surface, they’re difficult to remove. A new paint job can be expensive, so it’s essential to remove the goop as soon as possible.

Find Law defines vandalism as “any willful behavior aimed at destroying, altering, or defacing property belong to another.”

Egging a car fits that description. Other examples of common vandalism are using spray paint, slashing tires, keying a car, breaking windows, and denting the vehicle with hands, feet, or other objects.

The consequences vary by state

State laws have jurisdiction over criminal property damage cases. Each state handles vandalism differently, deeming the destruction of property as criminal damage, malicious mischief, or malicious trespass.

Most states aggressively pursue offenders to limit vandalism’s impact in their communities.

Penalties might include a fine, imprisonment, or both. Restitution isn’t uncommon, where those convicted of vandalism are ordered to repair, wash, or replace the damaged property. Community service is also a common punishment for minor offenses.

Also, authorities might hold parents accountable for a minor’s behavior and force them to pay substantial fines.

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