Juvenile Crime in Florida
Today marks the end of the 2015-2016 school year for Pasco County. Those with economic means, such as the ones in Wesley Chapel or Trinity will probably go on vacation and then on to various summer camps. But what about the less affluent kids? Do they hang out and commit more crimes than they would if they were in school?
Despite popular belief, Juvenile Crime in the Summer – DECREASES. Here are the latest statistics from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The graph shows that juvenile crime decreases in the summer months of July and August. Interestingly, the crime rate for juveniles spikes in May. Could the stress of school be causing an increase in crime? Final exam stress? Pranks during graduation? Unfortunately it’s hard to tell.
Studies on Juvenile Crime which show that juveniles commit the most crimes during the hours of 3-7 PM during the week. Perhaps this is the time when they are out of school and before their parents get home from work. The Department of Justice division of Juvenile Crimes gave this report from 2014 which shows that juvenile arrests are down 50% from 2005. But note that the arrests for juvenile Motor Vehicle Theft was up 9% from the year before. And juvenile arrests for property crimes like theft and Burglary are up in Florida.
It’s difficult for teenagers to get jobs in the summer. This spring, I’ve had at least 10 of my friends ask me if I had an opening for their teenagers. I don’t. But as Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney, I know that unsupervised teenagers get into more trouble than those with plans for the summer. Additionally, police target juveniles in the summer. I see the police in Pasco County stopping kids for fishing in the area retention ponds along Trinity Boulevard all the time. Make sure your kids know which ponds they can fish in legally. Also, make sure your kids know their rights. If the police ask them to search their backpacks, or their actual person, that they have the right to say NO!
If you have questions about your child’s rights, or need advice on any juvenile criminal matter, we’d be happy to talk with you.