Although most teens are decent people who try to help others, honor their parents’ wishes, and apply themselves intellectually, artistically, or athletically, some teenagers choose a bad path and commit crimes. The most common crimes committed by teenagers usually fall under the classification of juvenile misdemeanor crimes. Here are five of the top crimes that teens are most likely to commit:
Teenagers may think that vandalism is a minor offense and not a big deal, but the truth is that vandalism can come with a host of criminal charges. Defined as the deliberate destruction of private or public property, vandalism also includes graffiti and defacement of physical objects. In some places, even placing band stickers on telephone poles can land you in big trouble. Of the 5 most common crimes committed by teenagers, this one might not seem so important — but an area full of graffitti, broken windows, and scratched up utility boxes screams “get me out of here!” This means people who can, leave, and this often includes business owners who take jobs with them.
The legal drinking age in every state is 21. If a minor is found in possession of alcohol, stiff penalties can result regardless of whether or not the teenager was under the influence. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that possible penalties may include suspension of one’s driver’s license, required community service hours, and monetary fines. Factors that may influence the level of punishment include prior convictions and the offender’s age. In addition to illegal drug use, this one of the most common crimes committed by teenagers tends to lead to other crimes due to mental deterioration and the lack of self-respect and care that comes with abusing substances.
According to this source, this type of criminal activity encompasses a wide variety of offenses including fighting, disturbing yelling and screaming, public intoxication, or anything that disrupts the peace. Because the crime is so general in scope, the punishment also varies depending on the severity of the crime. Most disorderly conduct crimes get prosecuted as misdemeanors. However, the more serious ones tend to be judged as a felony — think of rioting or interfering with police officers.
Defined as theft of personal property, larceny is likely number one of most common crimes committed by teenagers everywhere. According to one lawyer, larceny is when there is “an unauthorized taking of property from another with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property.” The image of the teen in the store shoplifting food or an electronic item is not just a stereotype–many fall into this temptation. Theft and burglary is a criminal offense in every state, meaning that teens need to treat this more seriously than just a rite of passage or something to make you look cool (it only makes you look cool to fellow deviants, and they never stay friends with you for long).
Assault and Battery
This crime can be defined as actual physical harm or merely the threat of the action. Even simply making another individual afraid can be just cause to press charges in some areas (yes, this means BULLYING). Assault can be classified as both nonverbal and verbal threats. For this reason, teenagers need to be especially careful about what they say to other people and take care that it not be construed as a form of assault, especially because teachers and parents are much more aware of bullying.
Although most teenagers are tried as juveniles, they could be tried as adults if they are over the age of 18 or if the crimes are more very serious in nature. Stop being brainwashed by thugs in music videos or TV shows who encourage you to commit crimes — they just want your money and your attention (clicks on their videos and social media posts), so don’t give them any.