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Teens can go to jail for trick-or-treating on Halloween

Is it Halloween-hating?

Banning teens from Halloween

Jail time for trick or treating?


Most children tire of trick or treating by the time they are in middle school, however those families who choose to continue the tradition a little longer don’t normally have a problem. Unless you live in Chesapeake, VA (or as we found, many other communities throughout the country) where city law prohibits any child over the age of 12 from trick-or-treating with a fine or even jail time.

Hudson Valley Halloween Events and activities for Teens +

According to the city code Sec. 46-8, anyone who is over 12 years old that participates in “the activity commonly known as ‘trick or treat’ or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever” will be guilty of a misdemeanor. People who break the law can be fined between $25 and $100, jailed for up to six months or both.

Parents throughout the country have been very opinionated on this topic recently stating that there are worse things children could be doing than asking for candy, calling out the special needs community that enjoy trick or treating well into adulthood and calling the law inane and insane.

Others are siting a decades-old ordinance banning teens from trick-or-treating back in 1967 when a 14-year old was murdered after stealing a bag of candy. In 1969, members from 30 different community organizations petitioned the city council to limit the age and hours of trick-or-treating.

It seems that every year a warning is given to those violating the order but no one really enforces it. Many parents feel like if their teenagers want to go out trick-or-treating they would let them but others argue there is a fine line between following laws and believing children shouldn’t have to grow up so fast. Whether or not you live in the Virginia area or the Hudson Valley trick-or-treating is typically a fun time for children. If you don't feel safe hitting the streets in your neighborhood there are a number of not-so-spooky Halloween Events for children throughout our area.

A quote found on City of Chesapeake website states that “Chesapeake Police staff will focus on making sure the evening is safe for everyone, not actively seeking out violations of the time or age limits. For example, a thirteen year old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues. That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will”.

A recent tweet from Norfolk Police Department in response to recent media out-lash.

As ridiculous as it sounds to have a 13 year old arrested and fined for simply collecting candy, the objective seems to be keeping everyone safe on Halloween Night. Here are 7 Safety Tips for parents this Halloween.

What do you think? Should more communities follow suit and ban teens from trick-or-treating? Do you feel like the fines and punishments are too strict or would you allow your teen to continue the trick-or-treating tradition if they so choose?