Juvenile Law Alert: Could Your Halloween Prank Get You Arrested?

Many teenagers love playing tricks and pranks on Halloween. But it's also important to remain cautious, use your common sense, and think twice before you act. Sometimes, your idea of harmless fun may land you in legal trouble; a prank might also cause major harm by escalating into something you never intended.

What are some of the ways your pranks could get you in trouble?

  • Property damage. You could be throwing eggs at someone's house or car, messing up their mailbox, or spray-painting their driveway. Whatever the case may be, if you cause damage to other people's property, you could get charged with vandalism. And if you set fire to another person's property, there's a chance you'll be facing arson charges.
  • Unwanted intrusions on other people's property. You could be sneaking around someone's backyard and causing a disturbance, or maybe trying to get into their home to carry out a prank (such as taking something that belongs to them). In these kinds of situations, you're leaving yourself open to charges of trespassing and perhaps burglary.
  • Fright and physical harm. Pranks could involve issuing threats, jumping out at people and scaring them, tackling them on the ground, or carrying them against their will into a vehicle to drive off somewhere. Depending on how the target of the prank responds, and what they wind up suffering, you may face a variety of charges including assault, battery, criminal threats, and even kidnapping.

Other aspects of Halloween also increase the chances of legal trouble; for example, teens may drive recklessly and strike pedestrians with their car. Balancing the fun you have on Halloween with good caution is key to lowering your chances of an arrest.

If you do run into trouble, be sure to contact an experienced juvenile law attorney. The penalties for various crimes can range from fines and probation to imprisonment in the juvenile hall. If you live in the Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Corona and Riverside areas, get assistance from an attorney who will fight for you to receive the best outcome possible from the juvenile court system.

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