Most of us probably did something in our childhood that we are ashamed of or embarrassed about. We fibbed to our parents, missed curfew, and sometimes got grounded for errors in judgment. With childhood often comes bad decision making; as adults we look back and realize those mistakes and the consequences that followed were a fact of life. But sometimes, young people make very serious choices and some of their bad decisions and poor judgment may involve committing a crime.
Most of us can think of a time when we or a friend shoplifted some gum or candy from the grocery store or carved our name on a desk at school. While these two acts will not land a juvenile in jail, a more serious crime certainly might. If you or a young person in your life has been arrested for any crime, it is absolutely imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area to defend your case.
Some of the most common crimes that juveniles are arrested for are:
· Shoplifting · Burglary · Auto theft · DUI · Drug offenses · Trespassing · Vandalism · Underage alcohol consumption · Property crimes
The typical juvenile offender is male, between the ages of 15 and 17. In some states, such as Florida, juvenile crime in getting worse. Over the last ten years, there has been a marked increase in the number of crimes committed by juveniles. The largest increase has been in the number of violent offenses committed. Motor vehicle theft and property crimes, burglary, and larceny have also increased substantially. Juveniles are not only committing more crimes, they are more frequently becoming the victim of a crime, and more and more juveniles are being victimized by assailants armed with firearms.
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice provides the following statistics regarding juveniles and crime:
· Juveniles are responsible for about one of four violent crimes in the state. · The number of aggravated assault and battery by juveniles is up. · The number of girls arrested for violent felonies has more than doubled in the past eight years. · Burglary is the felony crime committed most often by juvenile offenders. · Juvenile crime peaks around 3:00 p.m., the time right after school lets out. · The number of youths charged with drug crimes has increased in the past ten years. · Fourteen percent of juvenile offenders can be classified as chronic offenders.
A criminal record negatively impacts the life of a child in many ways including employment, social relationships, college applications, and college loans. An experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney will work to lessen the consequences that can limit your child's future choices.