"Hopeless" features a trio of Hasidic boys getting up to no good. They steal some snacks from a local convenience store, convince an adult to buy them beer and so on. It all seems harmless and relatable, but in Los Angeles, these are indeed petty crimes. We did a little research and tallied the total charges for the little joyride in the video below.
Who hasn't stuck a sticker on a stop sign or written "I wuz herre" on a public bench at least once? You might stick by the rallying cry that "street art is not a crime," but even tagging your name in Magic Marker is considered "malicious mischief." According to California Penal Code 594, and the law group of Wallin and Klarich, vandalism to property totaling less than $400 with no prior offense is punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Minor or not, a court can also order the convicted to personally clean up or repair the damage. Street signs can be as cheap as $15 to $50, so let's say the courts are leniant and give these kids something low.
Total Damage: $250 and 1 hour of community service
Under California Penal Code 484, petty theft is defined as indirectly stealing items, as in not from the victim's person or on-hand belongings such as purses or bags, for a total value that does not exceed $950. It can be a rather serious misdemeanor with jail time and fines up to $1,000, but according to the Aizman Law Firm, stolen items totalling less than $50 for a thief without priors can be treated as an infraction. A fine for infraction is not to exceed for $250, and there's no way a few gas station snacks come out to be more than $50.
Total Damage: $500 and 1 hour of community service
So, you got charged under California Vehicle Code 23103. If you don't cause bodily harm or damage any property, the charge is less severe. According to Wallin and Klarich, you could be hit with imprisonment in a county jail for five to 90 days, or by a fine of $145 to $1,000. You could even get slammed with both. Again, we're being pretty lenient on these kids, and passing the cig didn't end up with any crash. Let's give them a square $150 and let their parents take away the keys.
Total Damage: $650 and 1 hour of community service
Petty Theft: Pizza Edition
Pizza is delicious, but there are no victimless crimes. Slap another $250 between the pepperoni.
Total Damage: $900 and 1 hour of community service
Hey, McLovin. Underage drinking isn't allowed. We're not even going to mess with the man who bought these kids their beer. That's a whole other charge, but if these kids get caught swigging 40s at the bus stop, it's going to be a quick seizure of substances under California Business & Professional Code Section 25658, which effects both the businesses that furnish the brews and the minors that do the drinking. That comes with a fine of $250, and 24 to 32 hours of community service that does not interfere with attending school or working at the mall, the movie theater or any place of employment. We've got three kids drinking tonight, so that's $750 and 90 hours of community service all together.
Total Damage: $1,650 and 93 hours of community service
Being a Public Nuisance
Now, we don't know if that fire extinguisher is stolen, so we're going to believe the kids when they say it came from their own homes. Shooting said extinguisher off in the parking lot at midnight is definitely boisterous enough to "interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by an entire community or neighborhood, or by any considerable number of persons" under Penal Code 372 and 373a PC. According to Shouse California Law Group, punishment includes "a standard misdemeanor fine of up to $1,000, plus an additional fine of $200." Let's round it out at $500 for these lovable, albethem irritant twerps.
Total Damage: $2,150 and 93 hours of community service
Well, kids, we hope you enjoyed your night on the town. Pretty sure you're grounded until college. For that amount of money, you could have just followed Shlohmo on the road. He recently wrapped leg one of his tour in support of LP The End, from which "Hopeless" is a single. He'll be on stage at HARD Summer this weekend in Los Angeles.
The End is out now on Friends of Friends and Wedidit. Watch the official music video for "Hopeless" below.