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Outside factors that lead to juvenile criminal activity

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Parents are often surprised when their children face arrest over alleged criminal activity. They did not believe their child would act in that fashion, and the child probably has never been in trouble with the law before. This might be a significant and truly unexpected shift from their normal behavior.

In many cases, what is actually going on is that outside factors are influencing the child to act in a way that genuinely is unusual given their personality and values. The problem here is that these outside pressures can lead to criminal charges that could have a major impact on the rest of the affected child’s life. These are just a few reasons why kids who wouldn’t normally act in this fashion can find themselves facing criminal charges.

Peer pressure

A great example of this involves when a child has a peer group that they want to belong to, but which may already be involved in these types of criminal activities. For example, maybe the child was dared to steal something from a local store. They never would have decided to shoplift on their own, but they wanted to impress their peers and so they went along with the dare.

Economic factors

Some crimes are also driven by economic factors, especially for young people who are not working yet. They may have no viable way to obtain the funds to buy the things that they want or need. They know that stealing is illegal, but they do not know what else to do.

There is also a related issue here, which is simply a lack of understanding of the real ramifications of committing a crime. Remember that human brain development doesn’t end until an individual is around 25 or 26 years old. A teenager may genuinely not think through their actions until after they have already done something that may end up on their permanent record.

What are your options?

As a parent, you certainly want to protect your child’s future in the event that they’re charged with criminal wrongdoing. The key is to ensure that you know about all of the legal defense options available to you in order to better ensure that you can achieve this important goal.

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