Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

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Halloween Pranks and Crimes

 

The little monsters, ghosts, and goblins will be out for a trick or treat on Halloween night, but there will also be criminals searching for opportunities to commit serious crimes. Here are a few Halloween pranks that can get you into heaps of trouble with the law on October 31st.

Vandalism, or destroying property, is a Halloween prank that can get your kids or you in trouble with the police. Egging a house may leave permanent damage, and owners may get mad and file a lawsuit against you. Even toilet papering a building could have legal consequences. Vandalism can carry very stiff penalties in the Commonwealth. If you have been accused of vandalism or destroying someone's property, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney and get legal help.  

Slashing tires or painting a car with shaving cream or toothpaste can be grounds for a visit to the local police headquarters. Halloween pranks may seem fun at the time, but they are illegal and can have severe legal outcomes.

Many communities have established curfews for Halloween night, and youngsters who do not take heed of these curfews may find themselves in trouble. Stealing a street sign or taking Halloween ornaments from a neighbor's yard may seem harmless, but these activities are considered crimes.

On Halloween night, college students may be more likely to consume alcohol while attending Halloween parties, and drunk driving and other alcohol-related offenses can rise during these celebrations. In the Commonwealth, driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime. In Massachusetts, the maximum blood alcohol level is 0.08% for adults drivers and 0.02% for a driver who is under 21 years of age. It is illegal for persons under 21 to drink alcohol. If you are charged with an alcohol-related offense (OUI/DUI) or underaged drinking, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If your adolescent child or teenager is involved in Halloween pranks and crimes, he or she can face serious consequences such as being detained by the juvenile court system, community service, probation, fines, and possibly a blemish on his or her public record for life. Adults who commit these crimes may face stiffer penalties that could include hefty fines and possible jail time.

Halloween can be a fun time, but it also can be a dangerous time for children who participate in the annual Night of Mischief. The website of The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) provides safety tips for parents to ensure their children are safe on Halloween night. NCPC suggests the following safety tips:

  • Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.

  • Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.

  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.

  • Remind your children not to eat treats until they have come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.

  • Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.

  • Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup

  • Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.

  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.

If you have been a victim of a Halloween prank or crime, you should call your local law enforcement for help. If you or your child has been accused of a Halloween crime, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney.

The consequences can be devastating and may include severe punishment or hefty fines, maybe both. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.