The most common criminal charges on Halloween

By Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C., on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016

Halloween is right around the corner and many students at colleges and universities around the country are planning parties and brainstorming ideas for costumes. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for example, there is usually a huge party on Halloween.

While Halloween night is definitely a time for festivity, it is important for college students to be cautious as well. Here is some information about the most common criminal charges on Halloween night.

Traffic violations

Many criminal charges that occur on Halloween night are related to traffic violations. If you speed or roll through a stop sign on any other day, it is possible that a police officer will let it go. However, cops are generally not as courteous on Halloween night. Every Halloween, hundreds of children swarm the streets and neighborhoods going door to door. These young children don’t always stay on the sidewalk. Accordingly, speeding or rolling through a stop sign is incredibly risky on Halloween night. To avoid criminal charges, you should pay attention to the road and abide by the speed limit.


Vandalism is another common cause of arrests on Halloween night, especially among college students. Many high school and college students end up with a vandalism citation after toilet-papering a building or destroying decorations.

The punishment for vandalism depends on the severity of the crime. College students can face $10,000 in fines or up to half a decade in prison for vandalism. While vandalism may seem like a harmless joke to college students, it is important to keep the possible consequences in mind.


Many on- and off-campus parties are held on Halloween night. Quite a few of these parties involve alcohol and other drugs. College students who plan to drink with friends should keep in mind that underage drinking is a common criminal charge on Halloween night. In fact, in some cases, police officers may camp out at busy spots on Halloween night and card everyone they spot drinking. If you are over 21 and plan on drinking at a Halloween party, you should also have a way to get home, as driving under the influence is also a common criminal charge on Halloween.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a big problem on many college campuses. This issue is even more prevalent on Halloween night. Many parties involve drinking, which is a common factor in many sexual assault cases.

Be safe

An arrest is a quick way to end the fun on Halloween, and criminal charges can have ramifications that last long after Halloween is over. We urge all college students to be safe on Halloween night. If criminal charges do arise, contact a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your future.

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