With all of the scary clown stories that are circulating around the country, a Monogalia County deputy is warning residents that trying to play a scary clown prank isn't something that is advisable. The deputy noted that it could be a criminal act to just walk around with a clown mask on.
The issue of walking around with the clown mask isn't actually anything against clowns. Instead, it is a code that is in place in West Virginia that is the issue here. In fact, you could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $500 for wearing a clown mask, or any mask, in public.
The code that is on the books says that it is a misdemeanor to wear a mask or hood in a variety of circumstances. These include while on the highway, in public buildings, in a public place or while driving. That might shock some people because the activity seems so harmless for the most part.
As is the case with many laws, there are some exceptions to this code; however, wanting to wear a clown mask because of the issues around the country doesn't fall under those exceptions. Some of the exceptions include traditional holiday costumes, people who have an occupation that requires their faces be protected or covered and people under 16 years old.
This is one example of how something that seems like no big deal might actually lead to criminal charges. If you are facing any criminal charge because of a situation like that, you might need to start working on your defense quickly.
Source: WAJR, "Deputy warns Monongalia Co. residents to steer clear of creepy clown prank," Sunshine Wiles, Oct. 05, 2016