The entire charm of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia relies on watching terrible people do terrible things, but with all the things the gang has done, it’s a minor miracle any of them are still free to walk the streets. Here are a small handful of crimes the gang has committed, along with their potential penalties courtesy of criminal attorney Peter M. Liss.
The Gang Commits Arson
It’s actually shocking how many times the gang commits arson. In “The Gang Goes Jihad,” when a new owner buys the land the pub is on and tells them to vacate, they accidentally burn down the building next door after throwing a bag of burning dog poop into it, igniting a gas leak. In “The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition,” when trying to force an involuntary Extreme Home Makeover on a poor Mexican family, they manage to burn the whole home down while trying to do a “controlled burn” on one wall. Finally, in “Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City,” Charlie throws a molotov cocktail into the police car they stole to try to stop Dennis and Frank from abusing their powers as fake cops.
While arson may be funny on screen, it is also a very serious crime. In fact, in California (where it is even more dangerous than Philadelphia due to the increased risk of fires in a dry state like ours), arson is always a felony crime. Even fires that were started accidentally but caused by reckless activity can be charged as arson -and yes, throwing flaming bags of dog poop would certainly qualify as a reckless activity.
The Gang Goes Kidnapping
Another crime the gang has committed on multiple occasions is kidnapping. The poor family mentioned earlier in “The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition” episode was kidnapped for their home makeover. When reviewer Lyle Korman leaves the bar a bad review in “Paddy’s: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia,” they kidnap him and attempt to force him to write a more positive one —and then kidnap a second victim when they break into the wrong apartment while trying to find Korman’s sick cat.
Then they kidnap quite a few people in “Charlie Catches a Leprechaun” when people don’t respond to Dennis’ mobile pub idea the way he wants them to and the gang eventually ends up dropping their now terrified ex-customers in the middle of nowhere. Then later, Charlie captures a “leprechaun” and tortures him in the basement before taking him to where they dropped off the other victims of the mobile pub.
Charlie Catches a Leprechaun is particularly full of criminal activities, including fraud, robbery, assault, battery, false imprisonment, and torture. Just kidnapping alone can result in up to eight years in prison —and if the kidnapping is charged as aggravated (which would likely be the case with the leprechaun since Mac and Charlie likely caused serious bodily harm during their “interrogation” into his magical powers), the penalty could be life imprisonment.
Everyone Does Battery
The final crime the group participates in over and over is battery. They attack the reviewer already mentioned in “Paddy’s Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia;” the leprechaun already discussed in “Charlie Catches a Leprechaun;” a homeless person in “Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City;” and they even poison beers of their competitors in “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry,” which could be both battery and food tampering.
Each battery charge could carry a sentence of six months in jail if the prosecutor charges it as a misdemeanor or up to four years in prison if the victims were seriously injured. The charge of food tampering could also carry a four-year prison term if the victims suffered great bodily injury. With a good attorney though, the gang might only face misdemeanor charges and be able to have the food tampering charge dropped.
A Laundry List of Crimes
And because we can’t detail every crime they’ve committed, here’s a quick list of some of the crimes the gang committed (we couldn’t list them all), the episodes they’ve occurred, and the penalties the gang could serve:
- Burglary (The Gang Gets Trapped and The Gang Reignites the Rivalry): One year in jail if charged as a misdemeanor or six years in prison if charged as a felony.
- Vandalism (The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition and The Gang Reignites the Rivalry): Depending on the amount of property damaged, the gang could face a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, community service and/or up to 3 years of probation, or a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Theft (Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City and The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)): Charges vary by the amount of property taken. In the first case, it would be limited to taking hot dogs from the street vendor, so the guys could be charged with an infraction or face up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. But in The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2), Charlie steals a thoroughbred horse, which is grand theft and could result in penalties of up to three years imprisonment.
- Robbery (Charlie Catches a Leprechaun and Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City): Up to five years in prison.
- Welfare Fraud (Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare): Six months in jail and a fine of $500 if charged as a misdemeanor or three years in prison and a fine of $5,000 if charged as a felony.
- Impersonating Police (Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City): Three years imprisonment plus sentence enhancements for the specifics of the crime.
- Drunk Driving (Charlie Gets Crippled): Mandatory attendance in an alcohol or drug treatment program, a fine between $390 and $1,000, an additional penalty assessment of up to 180% of the fine, and a possible jail sentence of up to six months —though jail is rare in first-time DUIs.
- Cocaine Dealing (The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)): Up to five years in prison, depending on the quantities in question.
- Pimping and Prostitution (The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)): As the pimp, Frank could face up to six years in prison and$15,000 in fines, and as the prostitute, Dennis could face up to six months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.
- Inciting a Riot (The Storm of the Century): Up to one year in jail as a misdemeanor or three years in prison if charged as a felony.
There’s no doubt that if the gang was charged with even half of the crimes they have committed, they’d be going away for a long, long time. If you are charged with any of the same crimes seen on It’s Always Sunny (which is pretty much all possible crimes at this point), Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.