Trick or Treat: Some Halloween Considerations
October 30, 2014
Halloween is on Friday, and many children are excited to put on their costumes and go trick-or-treating. But there are some considerations that don’t automatically come to mind.
For instance, in some cities in Virginia, there is an age limit to who can go trick-or-treating. In Virginia Beach anyone over the age of 12 going trick-or-treating could be charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor. In Newport News, anyone trick-or-treating after 8:00 p.m. is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
In Fairfax County, there is no law limiting the age of trick-or-treaters. However, Fairfax City only permits trick-or-treating between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. Although children won’t be charged with a misdemeanor, it’s safe to assume police will be enforcing this time restriction.
Parents should remind older children that common Halloween pranks such as egging and pumpkin smashing are crimes in Virginia. If caught, the individual could be charged with vandalism as a Class 1 misdemeanor or a Class 6 felony. The difference with being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor is the value or damage to the property. Ringing doorbells and running away (doorbell ditch) could be considered trespassing.
Halloween can be fun and enjoyable – but parents should be safety cautious and remind their children to do the same.