There was a point in time when people across America used to believe that it was important to allow a kid to stay a kid as long as possible. There are parts of Virginia that don’t agree with that and have decided that once your son or daughter turn 13 they can no longer be a kid who gets to enjoy Halloween. What is worse is if a son or daughter who is 13 or older were to get caught being a kid on Halloween who enjoys dressing up and going trick or treating parents may learn that their child has been arrested. In parts of Virginia any child over the age of 13 who goes out trick or treating may find themselves locked in prison for up to 6 months and could be made to pay a fine that ranges anywhere from $25 to $100. Strangely enough, Chesapeake, Virginia is not the only city to have these kind of laws.
Chesapeake, Virginia city code reads:
(a) 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.
(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than 30 days or both.
It is becoming more and more common place for it to become a criminal offense if a child over 12 years old goes door to door expecting a treat every time they ring the door bell or knock on the door. Under the laws in the city of Newport, anyone who is in seventh grade or 12 years old and younger is allowed to go out in costume and trick or treat on Halloween night. But any child who is older than 12 years old that tries to partake in the Halloween tradition of dressing in costume and going trick or treating is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
The same laws that dictate that a 13 year old can no longer go trick or treating states, “no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type.”
There was a time when Halloween used to be a holiday that could be fun for all of the family no matter what their age were. Those days are no more as the law has effectively reached out and removed the mask off anyone who is no longer under the age of 12 years old.