Legal Blog

Halloween Pranks All In Good Fun Can Also Be Against The Law

Author Clark & Noonan, LLC
Posted June 15, 2017
Category Criminal Defense

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.

Posted: October 29, 2013

Some Halloween Pranks Can Be Charged As Juvenile Offenses

There are two old adages that attempt explain away youthful mischievousness: “kids will be kids” and “boys will be boys.” The problem is, neither is likely to be considered if your child breaks the law.

Halloween is a celebrated holiday shrouded in frights and dares and pranks. It is unofficially known as “Mischief Night.” But if your child gets into trouble on Halloween law officials may not think certain criminal areas are just “all in good fun.”

The following are just a few crimes that can get even the best-behaved kids into trouble with the law:

  • Destruction Of Property – “Tagging” or otherwise defacing any public or private property is against the law. Depending upon the value of the destruction your child could be facing serious consequences and you could be required to pay restitution. Even just “egging” a house may also incite an angry neighbor to call the police because raw eggs can leave permanent stains on certain surfaces and destroy paint finishes on doors and cars. “Toilet papering” a house may not seem destructive but it is a mess to clean up and is crime — unhappy “TP” victims may opt to file a police report.
  • Property Theft – Stealing a street sign, shoplifting, or even taking Halloween decorations are all illegal.
  • Crank Emergency Calls – Faking an emergency by calling 911 for help is a crime.
  • Pranks Involving Cars – Joyriding is a serious offense, but it is also unlawful to damage a car. Shaving cream, toothpaste, and eggs can all damage the paint on cars. Slashing tires or even just letting the air out of car tires may seem like a prank, but these acts are also against the law.
  • Breaking Curfews – Many towns throughout New Jersey have announced that they fully intend to enforce curfews on Halloween. In some places, curfews will be even earlier on Halloween night than they are on other nights. For example, Burlington County curfew for minors is 10 PM on weekdays. On Halloween, unaccompanied minors must be indoors prior to 10 PM or they could be escorted home by local police.

Freehold New Jersey Juvenile Offenses Defense Attorneys

It is important to talk with your child ahead of time about being strong in the face of peer pressure and that destroying property is not only wrong, it is against the law. If your child does end up in trouble with the police, call our law offices immediately to schedule a free, initial legal consultation. We may be able to clear the matter up and have any charges against your child dismissed or reduced.

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