Virginia Cities Make it a Crime for Kids Older Than 12 to Go Trick-Or-Treating

A town in Virginia has now passed a law ruling that kids older than 12 can face jail-time for trick-or-treating on Halloween.

A town in Virginia has now passed a law ruling that kids older than 12 can face jail-time for trick-or-treating on Halloween. And several other towns have similar rules, including hefty fines.

You read that right. Cities in Virginia have passed rules to jail and/or fine kids for tick-or-treating and it’s all in a purported effort to “keep everyone safe.”

The most egregious is the new rule in the City of Chesapeake which enacted a town code that would jail kids for up to six months if they are caught trick-or-treating over the age of 12. They are also subject to fines of $25 to $100 per incident.

According to The Blaze:

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The code states: “If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as ‘trick or treat’ or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.”

The website stipulates that an older child taking a younger child trick-or-treating is OK.

“According to the City of Chesapeake, police will focus on making sure the evening is safe for everyone, not actively seeking out violations of the time or age limits,” the website reads. “For example, a thirteen-year-old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues.”

“That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will,” the site adds.

Chesapeake is not the only Virginia city to have such a code. Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg/James City County, and York County, all have similar rules stipulating age limits and fines. However, none of these towns levy jail time on violators.

York County, for instance, recently posted a message about the rule:

The Sheriffs Department also stated that no one will get arrested for violating the code. But fines can be handed out on a case-by-case basis.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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