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City raises trick-or-treating age, removes jail as punishment

CHESAPEAKE, Va. –- Chesapeake City Council voted unanimously to both raise the city’s official trick-or-treating age and eliminate the possibility of jail time for young offenders, WTKR reported.

Last Halloween, news of Chesapeake’s strict law pertaining to Halloween trick-or-treating went viral.

Prior to this week, the Chesapeake trick-or-treating ordinance stated:

“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.”

When asked to explain the ordinance last year, city officials they would not “actively seek out” violations, but were simply trying to prevent teens from getting into trouble.

“For example, a 13-year old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues. That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will,” a city official said last year.

With Tuesday’s vote, Chesapeake raised its trick-or-treating age to 14-years old.

While the ordinance removed jail time as a punishment, it still classified trick-or-treating above the age of 14 (without an adult present) as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

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