Trick-or-Treaters Over the Age of 12 Could Face Jail Time, and People Are Pissed

A number of municipalities have put age restrictions on the time-honored tradition, threatening fines, misdemeanor charges, and up to six months behind bars.

Trick or Treaters

Image via Getty/Tim Clayton/Corbis

Trick or Treaters

Though one is never too old to get into the Halloween spirit, a number of communities across the country have decided to enforce trick-or-treat age restrictions. And those who are brave enough to violate the order will risk some serious consequences.

For example, the city of Chesapeake, Virginia, declares that anyone over the age of 12 is legally prohibited from going door-to-door seeking free candy. The ordinance code states anyone who breaks the order could be slapped with a $100 fine, a misdemeanor charge, and up to six months in jail. Yup, a child could be locked up for simply for participating in the time-honored tradition.

According to the Associated Press, local governments in Maryland, South Carolina, and Mississippi have implemented similar restrictions, which have understandably sparked outrage among both kids and parents. There’s even a petition calling for a repeal of the Chesapeake law.

The petition reads in part:

Sure, there are a few bad apples out there who are more interested in the trick part of Halloween, rather than the treat — but should that ruin the fun for everyone? And should a minor ever face jail time for something as innocuous as trick-or-treating? We don't think so.

The City of Chesapeake has issued a statement in response to the criticism, pointing out that the trick-or-treat age limit has been in place for 45 years.

“In that time, no one has been arrested or charged with any crime under this Ordinance. Chesapeake Police officers will not impede persons who are clearly over the age of 12 from trick or treating, provided that they are doing so in an otherwise lawful, safe, and secure manner,” the statement reads. “[…] The Ordinance, which mirrors that of the other Hampton Roads cities and many communities around the country, was and is intended to promote a safe, secure, fun experience for all.”

Though it seems unlikely that any violators will be placed behind bars, many people have taken to Twitter to express their opposition. Check out some of the responses below. 

I don’t care how old you are; you got a costume? You get candy at my house! #trickortreat

— Zackary Martin 🦄 (@Zack10ary) October 18, 2018

Also just let kids trick or treat no matter the age. Seriously, rather kids be out having fun than getting into trouble #justsaying #Halloween #psa

— Saiyan Queen (@drummerchic1) October 11, 2018

A freaking age limit really ? For trick or treating ? Give me a break dude @ewnupdates If trick or treating is going to keep teenagers out of trouble and not doing stupid things then let them trick or treat. You people are seriously ruining things.

— Vickster627 (@toots_o617) October 18, 2018

If you come to my house on trick or treat you get a treat -No Age Limit! Last year I tipped the pizza delivery lady with cold hard cash and a full size candy bar. 🍫🎃🕷🕸⚰️👻

— Lori Davis (@Halaja1Lori) October 10, 2018


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