Halloween is a wild night for many – representing an opportunity to embrace the spookiness and our darker sides. However, the rule of law does not suddenly cease to exist on Halloween night. On the morning of November 1, many people wake up and are confronted with the consequences of their activities during the previous night. There are endless possibilities when it comes to criminal charges after Halloween night, and people of all ages may experience consequences for their actions.
Crime Statistics on Halloween
According to various reports, violent crime rates increase by about 50% above the daily average on Halloween. In addition, pedestrian deaths are much more common on Halloween night for obvious reasons. With more pedestrians on the streets, it is easier for trick-or-treaters to be struck and killed by vehicles.
Many police departments have also claimed that criminals use the circumstances of Halloween to their advantage – wearing masks and costumes to hide their identities before committing a range of crimes. This means that it is potentially easier to get away with all kinds of offenses on Halloween nights – as even surveillance cameras may fail to capture someone’s identity if they are wearing a costume. Police cannot simply stop random people on the street if they are wearing a costume, and this allows criminals to “blend in” with surprising ease.
Halloween is also considered to be a “party night” for many people, and this may lead to many more incidents of intoxicated driving. These crimes may be especially common if Halloween falls on a weekend, although many partiers simply choose the closest weekend to celebrate Halloween if the holiday falls during the week.
Teens Charged With Vandalism
One potential criminal act that may lead to consequences on Halloween night is vandalism. The penalties for vandalism can be surprisingly harsh in Mississippi, and this was made clear after two teens faced felonies for their role in toppling a stone sphere in Oxford. While the two girls were teens, they were also legal adults between the ages of 18 and 19.
After approaching Pocket Park near City Hall, the teens pushed a globe off a fountain. The globe then rolled into a wall, damaging an external plumbing structure. In total, the teens caused about $5,000 in damages. The mayor was angry, and he reminded the public that the park had just recently been dedicated a few days prior. While this offense did not occur on Halloween, it shows how raucous behavior by teens can lead to serious charges. These teens were charged with felony malicious mischief, and they potentially face up to five years in prison as a result.
Under Mississippi law, these charges can occur if the vandalised property is worth more than $1,000. Since they apparently caused just under $5,000 in damages, they fall into this category. However, it could have been worse. Mississippi law states that defendants may face up to 10 years in prison after causing more than $5,000 in damages. Just a few dollars more damages, and these teens would have faced a decade in prison.
Last Halloween, Mississippi daycare staff went viral after traumatizing young children while wearing Halloween masks. The incident was filmed and posted on social media, and it was clear to everyone that the children were placed under considerable distress. These daycare workers were quickly terminated – later narrowly escaping felony child abuse charges. In the end, they faced only misdemeanors for their ill-advised attempt at Halloween spookiness.
Being Too Old to Trick-or-Treat
Finally, it is worth noting that some municipalities in Mississippi have now banned children from trick-or-treating once they reach a certain age. One example is Meridian, a city with an ordinance that states only children 12 or younger may trick-or-treat. Some cities across the United States may even charge teens with misdemeanors if they attempt to trick-or-treat – although such charges are understandably quite rare.
Where Can I Find an Experienced Defense Attorney in Mississippi?
If your child is facing charges due to their wild behavior on Halloween night, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Mississippi as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your child’s actions, they may be tried as an adult. With an appropriate defense strategy, it is possible to mitigate any potential legal consequences your child might be facing. Book your free consultation with Vic Carmody Jr. P.A. to immediately get started with an effective action plan.