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What Halloween activities can land your child in jail?

Many of us engaged in some type of Halloween pranks in our youth, whether it was stringing toilet paper from trees or smashing a pumpkin or two. Young people can get caught up in unfortunate activities because their friends are engaging in them. They may also have an added sense of invincibility in the darkness with their identities hidden by masks and costumes.

Before your kids head out to go trick-or-treating or attend a Halloween party, it's important to remind them that what they might consider some harmless Halloween pranks may not go over so well with people whose homes are vandalized or whose property is damaged.

Police, who will probably be out in force working to maintain order and safety, may be less than understanding as well. That's why kids and young people need to know what kind of activities can land them in jail.

Although Halloween is a night of monsters, zombies and ghouls, making someone feel threatened or accosting them physically can get you arrested. It's one thing to get into character with friends, family and those who know that it's you wielding that (hopefully faux) ax or stalking them menacingly.

Vandalism and destruction of property are against the law. Some homeowners will give kids a pass on Halloween night, but others may not be so understanding. With everyone having quick access to a cellphone, it's easier for homeowners to capture the act and the perpetrator on video.

Alcohol is often behind all sorts of unfortunate behavior. This brings up another issue -- underage drinking. Even if you're not behind the wheel of a car, possessing or consuming alcohol can get you arrested. So can serving alcohol to minors. Connecticut has strengthened its underage drinking laws in recent years. If you're hosting a Halloween party for your teen, make sure there's no alcohol, even if someone brought it to the party.

No one wants to get a call from their child Halloween night saying that they've been arrested. However, if that happens, it's important that you take the charges seriously. What you might consider "kid stuff" can have consequences for their education, their extracurricular activities such as sports and possibly their ability to qualify for a scholarship. A Connecticut criminal defense attorney can advise you of your options and help protect your child's rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Halloween Pranks That Will Get You Arrested," Deanne Katz, Esq., accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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