Any parent wants to know the whereabouts and activities of their children. As children grow older, however, constant supervision becomes unrealistic, and parents can simply hope that their children are making smart choices. While only a relatively small number of children commit crimes, juvenile crimes do happen, even under the care of responsible parents. Studies point to a few key identifiers that may indicate if a child is committing criminal acts.
Let's start by stating that, for the most part, children that do commit crimes typically only commit two or fewer offenses. For most children, the experience of getting caught, dealing with legal and parental consequences, and potentially spending time in the juvenile hall is enough to discourage any more misbehavior. Repeat juvenile crime offenders are responsible for the largest majority of juvenile crime. These offenders tend to display similar behaviors that may indicate to parents that they are juvenile criminals. Children like this tend to start committing crimes at a young age, around 10 or 11 years old and will continue to display signs that point to trouble. There are certain signs, described below, which parents should watch for.
Problems at School
Even at a young age, failure in school can indicate serious problems. Children showing bad grades and low attendance or skipping school are likely candidates for suspension, expulsion, or dropping out of school. Children who drop out of school miss out on developing key life skills and are more likely to end up in criminal activity.
Drug or Alcohol Abuse
On top of the fact that drug or alcohol abuse indicates that a child is most likely engaging in illegal activity to acquire said substance, drug or alcohol abuse may indicate further criminal activities. Selling illegal drugs leads to serious criminal charges, and the effects of drugs and alcohol can lead children to shed their inhibitions, making them much more likely to engage in criminal activity. Drug and alcohol abuse can also lead to addiction, and addicts are much more likely to commit criminal offenses to further their addiction.
Issues at Home
Children who have faced neglect, abandonment, or abuse are more likely to turn to criminal activity. A family with a history of criminal activity also plays a role in whether a child will be a juvenile offender or not.
Other Behavioral Problems
Chronic stealing, running away, and other conduct problems can also indicate potential young offenders.
While these factors do indicate potential youth offenders, they do not guarantee that any child displaying these signs is a juvenile criminal. If you, your child, or a member of your family is facing criminal charges, a qualified Bay Area defense attorney can help. Contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today.