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Why do young people get arrested more often?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense

There is some evidence that age itself may be tied to arrest rates. For instance, some studies have found that the arrest rates are higher for those who are 26 years old and below. Older Americans see a lower arrest rate, suggesting that youth is somehow connected to criminal activity.

But why does this happen? There are a few different potential reasons to consider.

Lack of structure

For one thing, the study found that those who get arrested in this age group are less likely to be married. This could indicate that they don’t have the same sort of structure and stability in their life. They may be more likely to break the law than someone who was married and had a family to consider.

Brain development

Another thing to keep in mind is that brain development itself ends around 25 or 26 years old. The frontal lobe still has to develop, and this is the part of the brain responsible for decision-making. This suggests that younger Americans may be more likely to make poor decisions just because of their brain chemistry.

Enforcement issues

But the study was careful not to put all of the blame on the individuals who were arrested. They noted that young people in the United States are often criminalized and that enforcement efforts may target them. This could lead to higher arrest rates even if the rate at which young people break the law is exactly the same as it is for older Americans.

If you find yourself facing serious charges, they could have a major impact on your future. Be sure you understand all the criminal defense options at your disposal.