Halloween can be a fun night filled with trick or treating and innocent pranks. However, it can also lead to more serious activities that blur the lines between pranks and crimes. As you prepare for Halloween this year, you should also prepare Mischief Night, the night before Halloween.

What is Mischief Night?

Mischief Night takes place the night before Halloween and is more about tricking than treating. Mischief Night consists of rather harmless pranks, such as toilet papering someone’s home or egging their front door. Although Similar to Devil’s night, Mischief Night is usually less harmful than Devil’s Night, which may involve more arson-related crimes.

Is Mischief Night Illegal?

Mischief Night itself is not illegal, but some of the pranks pulled by children are. In New Jersey, police enforce curfews for those under 18 years old. A police department in Parkland, New Jersey issued a statement informing its citizens that they will confiscate items, such as toilet paper and shaving cream, from children wandering unsupervised on the street. Other towns in the state adopted a zero-tolerance policy, meaning that juveniles who are discovered to have paintball guns, eggs, or shaving cream can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense.

Mischief Night Pranks That May Become Crimes

Pranks that have the potential of becoming crimes include:

  • Criminal Mischief: Includes damage to someone’s property.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Occurs when a person creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition, which serves no purpose of the actor.
  • Arson: Intentionally starting a fire with the purpose of destroying or damaging a property.
  • Criminal Trespassing: Includes breaking into someone’s property.
  • Theft or Burglary: Includes taking someone else’s property, as well as breaking into someone’s property with the intent to commit a crime.
  • Simple or Aggravated Assault: Includes bodily harm ranging from mild to serious.

Criminal Charges

Depending on the damage caused on Mischief Night, individuals can face the following consequences:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • As a fourth degree offense, you may be sentenced to up to 18 months in jail if damage between $500 to $2,000 was caused
  • Third degree criminal mischief charges, which include property damage of $2,000 or more. You may also be charged with third degree criminal mischief charges if your conduct interfered with a public entity, and if you damaged a grave.

Haddonfield Criminal Lawyers at Aita Law, LLC Represent Individuals Filing Criminal Mischief Charges

If you or someone you know is filing criminal mischief charges, contact a Haddonfield criminal lawyer at Aita Law, LLC. Our lawyers will fight for your rights and will obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-287-7800. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County and Cherry Hill.