Halloween pranks and partying can be harmless fun. However, if your teen gets involved in the wrong kind of “fun,” he or she could be arrested. North Carolina law enforcement officials will be on the lookout this Halloween for criminal misbehavior, so it’s important to make sure your teen knows what’s okay and what isn’t.
In this post, we’re going to cover the most common pranks and activities that get North Carolina teens in trouble on Halloween, and what you can do to fight back if your teen gets arrested.
When a prank involves property destruction, charges could be filed against your teen. Smashing pumpkins, toilet papering a home or trees, throwing eggs at a house or vehicle, spraying graffiti, or bashing mailboxes could all be charged as property destruction.
If convicted, your teen could be forced to pay at least $500 in fines and be required to serve at least 24 hours of community service. Vandalism of caves or human remains come with stiffer penalties.
Under North Carolina law, walking onto or remaining on private property without permission is trespassing. This could apply to certain cemeteries or abandoned buildings where your teen may wander for spooky fun. However, your teen could face Class 2 misdemeanor charges if caught.
Burglary is the act of breaking into a residence or building with the intent to commit a crime while inside. If your teen breaks into a barn to steal bales of straw, it could be charged as burglary.
Your teen could face misdemeanor charges for taking décor or swiping bags of candy from a neighbor’s porch or taking any other items from private or commercial property.
Wearing a mask and demanding money from someone with a toy gun isn’t a prank—it’s robbery, a charge with tough penalties.
Some teens pull a prank of lighting a bag of manure on fire and leaving it on another person’s property. However, arson charges may apply if the fire spreads out of control and destroys property or harms individuals.
Threats of injury to another person or damage to their property, whether in person, writing, or electronically, is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina.
Your teen may scare someone just for fun. However, if the other person interprets your teen’s behavior as a genuine threat to his or her safety, your teen could face charges of assault.
In certain jurisdictions, loud noises, fighting, or breaching the peace can constitute charges.
Teens may engage in underage drinking, which is against the law in North Carolina and could result in stiff penalties for minor in possession violations.
Spending Halloween in Jail Is No One’s Idea of Fun
This is a holiday that’s meant to be about devilish behavior and indulging. Even so, there is a line that needs to be drawn.
If you are worried that your warnings to your teen will go in one ear and out the other (“Jeez, we’re just trying to have fun!), remind them that jail is not a fun place to spend Halloween, and that charges are even worse. A conviction – even for a misdemeanor – may lead to significant fines, time in jail or a juvenile detention center, and a probation sentence. Is that really what they want?