Once when my kids were little, I found a little garter snake that I put in a bucket to show them, before I put it out back near a wood pile. Of course, my daughter asked "will it bite?" and I said "No honey. It's just a baby. Let me get it out of the bucket to show you." I reached in and the little thing bit my finger and was hanging on as I lifted my hand out to show them. Needless to say, she hasn't believed me since.
I've handled many non-poisonous ones, but never "hots". My grandmother loved to tell the story of how her son Buster had a large black rat snake as a pet, loved to go around showing it off, until it bit him in his arm and drew plenty of blood. In true Southern Md. fashion, Buster retaliated by cutting the head off the snake, which is the family tradition I grew up in. Only good snake is a headless one, and the proper decapitation tool was a hoe.