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Could you go to jail for a gender reveal party?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Gender reveal parties have gained immense popularity in recent years – and they’ve gotten a little bit out of control. 

While many celebrations of these blessed events are perfectly harmless and a lot of fun, some folks seem to feel like “bigger, louder and more explosive” is better. People have done everything from shooting colored smoke bombs to firing off cannons filled with colored powder in order to “wow” the onlookers.

That’s led to a number of high-profile incidents after gender reveal parties have gone horribly wrong – including situations where guests and bystanders have suffered serious injuries or died.

Involuntary manslaughter charges are a real possibility

When a gender reveal party involves the unsafe use of explosives or other dangerous acts and someone ends up losing their life, the people who set up the party and handled the explosives can end up being charged with involuntary manslaughter. 

In Maryland, that generally means you unintentionally killed someone while:

  • Committing an unlawful act that is not a felony (such as setting off a homemade pipe bomb)
  • Acting in a negligent manner (which is arguably any situation where you let off explosive devices too near a crowd and without proper precautions to prevent fires and injuries) 
  • Negligently failing to perform some duty or legal obligation (such as making sure that you were handling the explosive materials correctly or had the proper permits)

Given the potential for serious harm that would definitely put a shadow over the child’s birth, it may be far wiser to stick with an old-fashioned baby shower. You’re far less likely to end up facing criminal charges and fines if you celebrate with cake instead of explosives.