Halloween can be harmless fun for your teen. However, if they get involved in the wrong kinds of activities over the holiday, he or she could be arrested.
In this post, we’ll cover the most common activities that get Minnesota teens in trouble with the law. We’ll also tell you what you can do if your teen gets arrested and charged with a juvenile crime.
Common Halloween Activities that Result in Teen Arrests
Minnesota law enforcement officials will be looking for criminal activity this Halloween, including examples listed here. If your teen is charged with any of these unlawful acts, he or she could face criminal charges.
Your teen could face charges for any prank that involves destruction of personal property. This includes spraying graffiti, battering mailboxes, throwing eggs at a vehicle or house, toilet papering a tree or home, smashing pumpkins, or destroying décor.
If your teen is convicted of criminal property damage, he or she will face misdemeanor charges with potential fines and incarceration. Criminal property damage is penalized in four degrees under Minnesota laws. A knowledgeable attorney will understand what degree of criminal damage to property charges will apply.
Your teen may think that walking through a private cemetery or wandering around in an abandoned building is fun for Halloween. Unfortunately, it’s unlawful in Minnesota for someone to walk onto or remain on private property without permission. Your child could face criminal charges for trespassing.
Under certain circumstances, a gross misdemeanor charge can apply for criminal trespass. This will result in higher fines and longer sentencing. Check with an experienced Minnesota criminal lawyer to know how the law applies to your case.
If your teen takes items from a neighbor’s home or from a retail merchant, he or she can face theft charges. A conviction for theft is a misdemeanor, and parents may be held responsible for fines, court fees and restitution costs. The plaintiff could also file a civil charge for theft, which will mean additional fines upon conviction.
If your teen breaks into or stays inside a building, structure, or residence to commit a crime while inside, he or she can be charged with burglary. This charge may apply if your teen intends to commit theft, destroy property, or assault against someone.
Some teens may start small fires to attempt a prank on Halloween. However, fires can quickly spread and cause extensive damage to property. Not to mention presenting a threat of injury or death to people. Your teen could face arson charges for what was intended to be a prank.
Making threats to injure another person or damage their property can constitute harassment charges. Making obscene statements, harassing others by following them, or making repeated phone calls and then hanging up can also constitute charges.
Your teen may make a threat as a prank. However, if the other person believed that your teen made a true threat that put his or her safety in jeopardy, your teen could face assault charges –even if no bodily harm resulted.
If your teen makes unreasonably loud noises, engages in a fight, or otherwise breaches the peace in public places, he or she could face disorderly conduct charges. A charge will apply if the behavior was intended to cause anger, alarm, or resentment in others.
Many Halloween parties include alcohol, which could put pressure on your teen to drink. However, drinking is against the law in Minnesota for those under age 21. If your teen is caught, he or she could face minor in possession charges.
The laws against minor in possession prohibit consumption of alcohol, attempting to purchase alcohol, misrepresenting age with false identification, or entering a business to deliver, serve, or buy alcohol. Any violation will result in misdemeanor charges. A minor will be required to pay a fine of no less than $100 and could face further penalties.
Make Sure Your Minnesota Teen Knows How Serious the Consequences Are
If your child is convicted for one of these misdemeanors, he or she could be subject to fines and/or time in a juvenile detention center. A misdemeanor can cause problems in your child’s future schooling and employment as well.
No Halloween “trick” is worth that.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).