TRICK or Treat

The idea of pranks on Halloween is embedded in the name of children’s second favorite holiday activity (opening presents on Christmas morning being No. 1, right?) When given the option, most kids will take the treat over the trick, but for some, mischief is a given on Halloween night.

Startling someone at your doorstep with a singing skeleton is one thing, but pranks that break the law are in a whole other category. Here are three things to watch out for this Halloween night.

Vandalism. Egging or TP-ing (toilet-papering) someone’s house is vandalism and legal ramifications can range from a warning, a fine, or even jail time. And there’s no trick-or-treating around the cell block. Last year, Los Angeles County (CA) considered felony charges against Justin Bieber for an egging prank gone wrong. In addition to a potential court appearance and possible jail time, you are likely to be liable for damages (and eggs certainly cause damage) to the property and possibly months on probation.

Instead of wasting a few dozen eggs or some perfectly fine toilet paper, go to a haunted house, a maze, or even a scary movie marathon — all better options than an arrest.

Boo-Brawls. Fighting is always illegal, so don’t do it on this spooky holiday, either. Sometimes scaring someone as a joke can be too much or go too far. Stay away from any physical scaring that may result in injury. Even haunted houses require participants to sign a waiver form before entering.

Underage drinking or driving under the influence. Behind many “boo-brawls” is alcohol — another way to end your night in handcuffs. With thousands of kids and teenagers walking the streets on Halloween night, police presence will be heightened. Getting behind the wheel after a few drinks drastically reduces your reaction time. Think about all the risks before you let someone drink and drive.

Silly pranks are fun and a part of Halloween, but more serious offenses can have lasting consequences. Have fun on Halloween, the responsible way.