Common Crimes Committed by Teens

joliet juvenile lawyerWhile children committing crimes is not uncommon, it does not happen nearly as often as adults committing crimes. According to the FBI, there were 681,701 juveniles arrested and 7,799,901 adults arrested in 2016, which makes juvenile crime only eight percent of all crime in the U.S. Of those juveniles arrested, the majority of them were teens, with 491,126 juvenile arrests, or 72 percent, made to those who were between the ages of 15 and 18. While law enforcement has seen some disturbing increase in violent crimes committed by juveniles, there is a general trend for the types of crimes that teens tend to be arrested for.

Theft/Larceny: Over 107,000 juvenile arrests in 2016 were made because of theft/larceny charges. These charges include general theft charges and shoplifting charges. General theft occurs when a person takes possession of property that is not their own without permission from the owner. Shoplifting occurs when a person takes possession of an item that is for sale in a retail establishment. These charges can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the stolen items.

Vandalism: This is also a common crime for teenagers to commit. According to the FBI, over 31,000 teens were arrested for vandalism in 2016. Vandalism is committed when a person damages, destructs, defaces or otherwise destroys the property of another person. Most of the time, vandalism committed by teenagers is graffiti or tagging of property.

Alcohol/Drug Offenses: In all 50 states, the minimum age to legally consume alcohol is 21. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, the minimum age is also 21. In the state of Illinois, recreational marijuana is illegal. Most alcohol or drug offenses committed by teenagers are underage drinking or marijuana possession offenses.

Disorderly Conduct: This crime is committed when a person creates a scene, makes a fake call to 911, makes a threat to a public place or otherwise disrupts the peace. For teenagers, this can mean fighting in a public place or public indecency.

Tobacco Offenses: In all 50 states, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase tobacco or nicotine products. It is a crime to ask an older person to purchase these products for you if you are underage, use these products or possess a fake ID to purchase these products.

Curfew Violations: Most states have in place a curfew, or time in which those under a certain age must be at home. In Illinois, minors cannot be in a public place during curfew hours, which are between midnight and 6:00 a.m. on weekends and 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. during the week.

Get Help From a Will County Juvenile Defense Attorney

If you or your child has been charged with a crime, you need the immediate help of a Joliet juvenile defense lawyer. Even if the crime is seemingly insignificant, it will remain on your child’s record if he or she is convicted. To help your child start out as an adult with a clean record, contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. today. Call 815-740-4025 and schedule your free initial consultation.

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