Is it Illegal to Burn Money in New Jersey?
It's always fun to type "is it illegal" in Google and see what auto-fills.
When I did it a bunch of investigations that we looked into popped up. For example...
- Is it illegal to get it on in your car?
- Is it illegal to eat food at the grocery store before you buy it?
- Is it illegal to record a conversation in New Jersey?
- Is it illegal to shoot someone in self-defense in NJ?
All of the answers to the above were not as cut and dry as you would imagine.
Today the Google auto-fill gave me this one:
Is it illegal to burn money in New Jersey?
First of all, who the heck is burning money with inflation out of control?
I'm sure it's occasionally done for demonstration purposes, but still, there are other options.
Don't these look legit? You can buy them on Amazon.
Back to it - is it illegal to set a Benjamin on fire?
Oh yes. Big time.
According to ThoughtCo.com:
Burning money is illegal in the United States and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, not to mention fines.
Yeah, the U.S. Government doesn't mess around. It gets even better.
ThoughtCo says it's also illegal to tear a bill or flatten a penny. Yes, because we're all down by the tracks with a pocket of pennies.
Let's say you win the lottery and have bags and bags of money to spare and have no idea what to do with them so you decide to burn them in public.
Sure, you broke the law, but ThoughtCo says:
The odds of being prosecuted under the federal laws that make burning money or defacing coins.
There are also First Amendment and free speech issues that need to be factored in. The chances of spending 10 years behind bars are slim to none.
That doesn't mean you should start burning your money. Keep it in the bank.
Speaking of illegal.