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Today is Halloween across the United States which means that trick or treaters will soon be out in force in cities all over the country, including here in Virginia. But while this is an exciting time for parents and children, it may be less exciting for people who are registered sex offenders.

That's because people who are on Virginia's Sex Offender Registry have a number of laws they must abide by during the Halloween season. If they violate any one of these laws, they could find themselves facing criminal charges that could lead to serious litigation. It's because of this that some of our readers might be asking the question we are posing in this week's blog post title:

Can Virginia sex offenders participate in Halloween activities?

The answer to this question depends on one major thing: whether you are on supervision or not. As you may not know, after a convicted sex offender has served their sentence and has been released back into society, they may be placed on probation. The terms of their release may include restrictions that can affect Halloween activities such as prohibiting the convicted offender from handing out candy to trick or treaters.

Sex offenders who are on probation should be aware of the terms of their release and whether they will face restrictions tonight. Accidentally violating the terms of probation can be a costly mistake and one none of our readers would want to make.

Under state law though, if a sex offender is not under supervision they may partake in Halloween activities, including handing out candy to trick or treaters.

Because Halloween can be a sensitive time of year for both parents and sex offenders alike, it's important for all Virginia residents to be aware of our state's laws and to be aware of the rights of others. For sex offenders especially, this may require assistance from a skilled criminal defense attorney who can remind an offender about their rights and the laws they must adhere to on this holiday.

Source: The Virginia State Police, "Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (SOR) Halloween Safety," Accessed Oct. 31, 2014

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