According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 73.8 million youths (below 18 years old) in the U.S. in 2012. This was more than a fourth of America’s total population then. More than half the number of youths, however, was discovered to have already suffered abuses in the home, community or school, or have already been exposed to crimes and violence. Almost half the number has also suffered injuries due to physical assaults.
Records from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) also show that many of these youths have already been involved in criminal activities, including drinking, carrying or possession of a deadly weapon, driving while intoxicated, robbery, murder, aggravated assault, rape and other sex offenses, arson, vandalism, gambling, drug abuse, disorderly conduct, vagrancy and so forth.
In 2011 about 1.5 million arrests were made on persons under the age of 18. Experts and authorities believe, however, that the rise in the number of arrests does not necessarily mean an increase in the number of crimes, but in the zealous of authorities who have just been more serious in arresting young law violators. These arrests were made to thwart any possibility of anyone becoming a repeat offender because repeat offenders usually end up as regular criminals. Arrested youths, as well as everyone else in the age bracket, are also being made to understand that being convicted of a crime no longer just means fines and citations – their arrest records will also definitely damage their future professional life.
Criminal acts are always serious, whether committed by a youth or an adult. Making youths understand the full consequences of their acts and giving them the supervision that they really want may be ways that can bring them back to the right path; all that may be required are the right person and the right strategy.
According to the law firm Alexander & Associates, in their youth, most people do at least a few things that they later come to regret; it is the goal of juvenile crimes lawyers to help limit the potential consequences of such actions. As the consequences of a juvenile crime conviction may have long-lasting or even permanent effect on a variety of different facets of a person’s life, lawyers, therefore, believe in fighting the charges aggressively.
A youth who has been charged with a juvenile crime does not mean he/she will be a thug for the rest of his/her life. To help ensure this, though, seeking legal assistance from a seasoned juvenile crimes lawyer, who may be able to save the charged youth from getting convicted, may be the first necessary move.