While trick-or-treaters may not be coming until next week, Halloween celebrations are already underway across Pennsylvania. This weekend in particular can serve as the perfect time for kids and young adults to engage in Halloween hijinks.
However, it doesn’t take much for a harmless prank or trick to turn into a serious criminal offense. And when this happens, a person could wind up dealing with consequences for months or years to come.
Below are some of the common crimes young people commit on Halloween and the potential penalties that they may face if convicted.
- Vandalism – Halloween is a popular time for kids to do things like cover a house in toilet paper or egg someone’s car. These might seem like harmless pranks, but as this article notes, they are acts of vandalism. Depending on the amount of damage these acts cause, a person convicted of criminal mischief can face up to two years in prison for a misdemeanor or seven years for a felony.
- Drunk driving – Drunk driving is a serious offense no matter what day of the year it is. A person convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol can face jail time, fines and license suspension.
- Assault or battery – The penalties for these offenses vary widely depending on the type of assault, aggravating factors and characteristics of the victim. However, even a seemingly offense involving violence, threats or unwanted sexual contact can lead to charges resulting in serious fines and jail time.
- Theft – Whether a person steals someone’s candy or breaks into a house to steal a computer, acts of theft can result in criminal penalties including fines and incarceration.
In addition to the criminal penalties outlined above, people could also face consequences in school, extracurricular activities and any job they might have. For instance, they could lose a scholarship or be fired if they lose their license and cannot get to work.
If your child winds up accused these criminal behaviors this Halloween, defending against the allegations and fighting to avoid overly harsh penalties can be critical.