Most crime in the United States is committed by adults -- but that does not mean that juvenile crime is uncommon. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were over 8 million arrests in 2017, but only an estimated 815,173 -- or 9.9 percent -- of those arrests were for people under the age of 18. Of those juvenile arrests, an overwhelming amount (769,985 or 94 percent) of them were teenagers. Law enforcement officers have reported that there is a noticeable trend in the types of crimes that teenagers commit. Here are the top crimes that teenagers have been known to commit:
Theft/Larceny: In 2017, there were 93,178 arrests to juveniles for suspicion of committed theft or larceny. In Illinois, theft is committed when a person knowingly takes control over property owned by someone else, whether that is by deception or threat of harm. It also occurs when a person obtains control over property and knows that the property is stolen. Shoplifting occurs when a person takes property from a retail establishment without paying for it. Theft/larceny charges can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the stolen goods.
Vandalism: There were 28,842 juvenile arrests for vandalism in 2017. According to Illinois code, vandalism is the act of damaging, destructing, defacing or otherwise destroying property of another person. The type of vandalism that teenagers commit is typically tagging and graffiti, drawing on walls or defacing cars.
Alcohol/Drug Offenses: Another crime that teenagers are notorious for committing is underage drinking and drug use. The legal minimum drinking age is 21 in all states. In states that have legalized recreational marijuana, the minimum age is also 21. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Illinois, so anyone in possession of marijuana who does not have a medical marijuana card can be charged with possession.
It can be a scary situation when you get the call that your child is in police custody. Teenagers are notorious for making bad decisions, but sometimes they can land them in serious trouble. At Myers Law LLC, we understand that teenagers can sometimes find themselves in sticky situations because of lack of judgment. Our trained Oak Brook juvenile defense lawyers can help you keep your child from a conviction at all costs. If your child is facing criminal charges, do not delay -- contact our office today. Call us at 844-984-3529 to set up a consultation.