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Factors Leading to Juvenile Delinquency: Things You Should Make Sure Your Child do not Fall into

More than 70 million children and teenagers (below 18 years old) presently populate the US, comprising more than one fourth of the nation’s total population. Like many of today’s adults, many of these young people have acted recklessly before; they have engaged in different risky activities that definitely warrant either counseling or disciplinary actions. As recorded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), these activities include drinking and getting drunk, driving while intoxicated, carrying a weapon, attempting suicide and engaging in sexual intercourse.

Though OJJDP research shows a downward trend in the number of juvenile crime in the U.S. since the early 90s, the number is still more than a million. In fact, about 1.5 million juveniles get arrested annually for criminal activities that include shoplifting, vandalism and damage to property, murder and many others.

Identified reasons why these young people engage in criminal activities, include:

  • To test the limits of parents and/or society
  • Lack or leniency of rules and lack of supervision
    Substance abuse
  • The kind of environment they are or were exposed to
  • The poverty level of the family they belong to
  • Relationships (which can lead to gangs) developed inside or outside the school
  • Peer pressure

Gangs are definitely major factors to juvenile crimes and, with at least 700,000 youths belonging to street gangs, there can be as many who are pressured and driven to commit offenses. Besides identifying the reasons behind the crimes, the OJJDP also gives the following information:

  • Boys, more than girls, are prone to becoming juvenile delinquents. This can be due to the “male phenomenon,” which states that boys commit more crimes compared to girls since they are supposed to be more aggressive and as proof of their masculinity.
  • Juvenile crimes are committed during and after school hours, specifically between 3 and 7 p.m. (crimes committed by adults usually peak from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight).

Crimes, whether committed by youth or adults, are serious, thus these need full attention from authorities. Oftentimes adolescents act irresponsibly without fully understanding the consequences of their acts. As explained by the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, “Being convicted of any criminal offense can have long-lasting effects on any individual’s life, but juveniles face very unique circumstances if they are accused of committing a crime. Being convicted of a juvenile offense has the potential to result in a number of court-ordered penalties that can have an effect on every aspect of a young person’s life, and can continue to affect them for years to come.”

According to Dallas criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, “There are a variety of criminal offenses that youths may find themselves accused of, and these range significantly in the severity of the crime and any punishments associated with a conviction. However, a conviction of any criminal charge, no matter how seemingly minor, can have dramatic effects on a young person’s life and as such, it is important to have experienced legal defense when facing the following charges:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Minor in Possession (MIP)
  • Minor in Consumption (MIC)
  • Public Intoxication (PI)
  • Traffic Violations
  • Sexual Assault
  • Property Damage / Vandalism
  • Theft / Shoplifting
  • Drug Offenses

Some families make the mistake of not fighting criminal charges, and instead paying a fine for their child’s crimes, hoping that these offenses will be forgotten in time. This mistake is a significant one,
as far too often these offenses are not forgotten or overlooked, but rather continue to affect an individual well into their adult years.”