What does it mean to have a criminal record? The answer to that question is probably very different now than it once was. It used to be the case that offenses like underage drinking, vandalism and other types of juvenile charges were often regarded as just the mistakes of youth.
We now live in an age where the Internet serves as a sort of permanent record that is immediately searchable by employers, university admissions counselors and anyone else who might be interested. As such, a criminal conviction or even evidence of an arrest can now impact a young person’s future like never before.
This is a problem that is much larger than most people realize. A survey of 7,000 young people conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that by the age of 23, approximately 30 percent of Americans have been arrested at least once for a non-traffic-related offense.
The most frequent arrestees are young men, and the survey data reveals that the risk of arrest is higher for African-American and Latino youth than for white males. According to the survey results:
- 30 percent of African-American men have been arrested by age 18, with that number climbing to 49 percent by age 23
- 26 percent of Latino men have been arrested by age 18, and 44 percent have been arrested by age 23
- 22 percent of white men have been arrested by age 18, with that number climbing to 38 percent by the time they reach age 23
Women have lower rates overall, but arrest rates are nevertheless substantial among women in all three ethnic groups.
If your son or daughter is facing legal trouble, their future educational and career-related aspirations could be at risk. An experienced criminal defense attorney will work to minimize the impact of these charges and make sure that your child understands his or her rights and options.
Source: SF Gate, “Study finds high rates of arrest,” Associated Press, Jan. 20, 2014