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When a Halloween hoax goes awry: 3 potential criminal charges

| Oct 6, 2016 | Criminal Defense

Halloween is a time for fun – a time when imagination can run wild, when youth and adults alike can dress up and escape reality for an evening. Although many will have a safe and enjoyable time celebrating this holiday, some may take a fun hoax too far. In these cases, what was meant to cause some fright and a few good laughs could lead to criminal charges.

Three potential examples include:

  • Assault in the third degree. New York Penal Law defines this crime as intentionally or recklessly causing some form of injury to another person.
  • Assault in the second degree. This form of assault essentially involves allegations that the accused intentionally caused serious harm.
  • Assault in the first degree. This, the most dangerous of listed allegations, involves accusations that the accused caused serious harm by use of something that could be defined as a dangerous instrument.

It is also important to note that anyone thinking of playing a Halloween trick should tread carefully. People may be a bit more sensitive this year. Reports of “creepy clowns” have been made throughout the country. These reports include allegations of people supposedly dressing up in shabby clown costumes and hanging around parking lot areas.

These characters are allegedly trying to get the attention of children and then attempt to lure them into the woods. These reports may cause people to be a bit more on edge than usual. Most reports are from southern states like Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, but sightings have been reported as far north as New Jersey.

Whether dressing up as a clown, superhero or planning a Halloween trick for a friend, it is important to take allegations seriously if your celebrations, or those of a loved one, lead to criminal charges. If the charges become a conviction, serious penalties can apply.

As a result, it is wise to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. This legal professional will review the details of your case and work to better ensure your legal rights are protected.