Does summer mean my kids will get into trouble?
If you are a parent of a teenager in Florida, you might be worried about the possibility of your child getting into trouble with the law during the summer months. You might have heard that juvenile crime rates increase when school is out, and kids have more free time and less supervision. However, is this really true?
Does summer mean juvenile crime sprees?
According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the answer is no. In fact, not only are Juvenile arrests actually down by 23% since 2011 but summer months are also the lowest months for juvenile arrests.
However, this does not mean that juvenile crime is nonexistent or that your child is immune from being arrested. And, there are some common juvenile crimes.
Graffiti and vandalism are just two examples of criminal mischief, which is defined as willfully and maliciously injuring or damaging any property belonging to another person. Depending on the amount of damage caused, criminal mischief can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Assault is defined as an intentional and unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to another person, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and creating a well-founded fear in the other person that such violence is imminent. Assault is a misdemeanor offense.
Theft is one of the most common juvenile offenses in Florida, and it can involve stealing anything from a candy bar to a car. Theft is defined as knowingly obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, the property of another with intent to deprive the other person of their right to the property or benefit from it. Theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property stolen.
What can I do?
Communication is key when it comes to preventing juvenile delinquency. Talk to your child about the consequences of breaking the law, both legal and personal. Explain to them how getting arrested can affect their future opportunities, such as education, employment and reputation. Also, listen to your child’s concerns and problems, and offer them support and guidance. Show them that you care about them and their well-being and take juvenile charges as seriously as adult charges.