Trick or Treat Yourself to a Jail Cell – Trending Halloween Crimes
September 8, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense Social Share
With fall right around the corner, one of the nation’s spookiest and most beloved holidays is upon us – Halloween. While the end of October brings about cute costumes and young trick-or-treaters, there is inevitably a dark side to the day. Criminal activity can spike during the holiday season. Northeastern Professor James Alan Fox claimed that from 2006 to 2009, violent crimes spiked most during New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween.
So, what are the most common crimes that take place on Hallows Eve? We will provide details on the top crimes that take place on Halloween, along with a brief overview of Florida’s Statutes.
Top Crimes Committed on Halloween
According to a study from Forensics College, Florida has had issues with crime during Halloween in the past. In fact, the site placed Florida #1 out of 9 cities for criminal activity on Halloween. The following is a list of the most common crimes that can take place on Halloween:
Florida is amongst the strictest states in the nation in terms of driving under the influence laws, which can result in harsh penalties if convicted. The law for driving under the influence is codified in Florida Statute Section 316.193, and defines a DUI as when an individual who is in “actual physical control” of any type of vehicle is under the influence of alcohol with a black alcohol content (BAC) limit exceeding the legal limit of 0.08. Getting convicted of a DUI in Florida can result in charges ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor up to a felony charge, depending on how many DUIs the individual has been charged with in the past.
To find out about the penalties and defenses for a DUI in Florida, read our page here.
As the country’s legal drinking age is set to 21 years old, anyone under that age caught with alcohol can be charged with underage drinking. Florida Statute Section 562.111 explains that is it illegal for anyone under the legal drinking age to possess alcohol. The underage possession of alcohol, a common sight at Halloween parties across the nation, can result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge.
To find out more about the penalties and defenses for an underage drinking charge in Florida, read our page here.
Florida Statute Section 806.13 defines criminal mischief, the larger umbrella criminal charge that vandalism falls under in Florida. A criminal mischief charge can result from an individual willfully and maliciously destroying or damaging property belonging to another person. Criminal mischief can include graffiti or other acts of vandalism. If an individual tries to vandalize someone else’s home on Halloween, they could face criminal charges ranging from a second-degree misdemeanor up to a third-degree felony, depending on the extent of damage to the property.
To find out more about the penalties and defenses for a criminal mischief charge, read our page here.
Getting accused of theft can result in serious consequences, and the charges can range from petit to grand theft depending on the value of items or property allegedly stolen. Florida Statute Section 812.014 defines theft as when an individual knowingly uses or attempts to use property that belongs to another person. If the stolen property is valued at $750 or below, it would result in a petit theft charge, a first- or second-degree misdemeanor. Grand theft is a more extreme form of theft, with the items or property stolen valued at more than $750. A grand theft charge can result in a third-, second-, or first-degree penalty depending on the monetary worth of the property stolen. For example, if someone trick or treating stole an item off someone else’s property, the homeowners could pursue a theft charge against the trick or treaters.
To find out more about the penalties and defenses for a theft charge in Florida, read our page here.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
Getting accused of a crime can be spooky on any day of the year. If you or a loved one find yourselves accused of a crime this Halloween season, prioritize seeking out the legal advice of a skilled defense attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients across the state for various criminal charges. We will stand in your corner and fight for your freedom. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today for a free consultation.
Written by Karissa Key