Any teens caught asking neighbors for candy on Halloween in a Virginia city may find themselves facing jail time, according to the city’s laws.
An ordinance in Chesapeake notes anyone over the age of 12 found participating in any “trick or treat” activity could be fined as much as $100 and face up to six months behind bars.
Trick-or-treating is also confined to the hours between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“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 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,” Chesapeake’s City Code 46-8 said.
That person could face a fine of between $10 and $100, as well as up to 30 days in jail.
The restrictions are meant to ensure the safety of both trick-or-treaters and those giving out the treats, as well as their property, on Oct. 31, officials said.
“Chesapeake Police staff will focus on making sure the evening is safe for everyone, not actively seeking out violations of the time or age limits,” the city’s website noted.
But older trick-or-treaters accompanying younger goblins and ghouls will not be punished, officials said.
"A 13-year-old safely trick-or-treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues," the website said. “That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will. Thank you for your help making it a fun night for everyone!”
Nine towns in Virginia place age restrictions on trick-or-treating. Other communities across the country, including in Boonsboro, Maryland, and Bishopville, South Carolina, as well as in Canada, have implemented similar rules in the past.