18 Dec Crime and the Holiday Season
This time of year brings joy, laughter, and gatherings with loved ones. It is supposed to be a beautiful time, but it can also be a very stressful time for many people. This immense stress often leads people to make unwise decisions, and hurt others or themselves through their actions. Crimes spike during the holidays due to the stress or anxiety of feeling lonely, the frustration of not being able to provide for the family, or triggers of negative memories. Whatever the case, Coolidge Law, located in Gilbert, Arizona, is here to be your criminal defense specialist if you find yourself on the other side of the law this month.
Common Holiday Crimes
Some of the most common crimes during the holidays include:
Drunk Driving: With the many parties this time of year, and emotions running high, drunk driving rates dramatically increase. Hundreds of people die of drunk-driving incidents every year during the holidays. Even if you feel able to drive after a few drinks, you are most likely suffering from impaired judgement from the effects of the alcohol. Don’t drive: it’s not worth it! If you’re planning to drink, leave your car keys at home and plan to use a service such as Uber or Lyft for your transportation. The punishment of ten days in jail may not seem like a lot, but with aggravated circumstances, it could be up to two years in prison.
Identity Theft: This is a risk for everyone during the holidays, whether online or offline. There are a variety of methods used to steal people’s identities, and they can be quite damaging for all involved. Identity theft is usually committed for the purpose of obtaining money, but may also be done to create a new life, or enter the country. The punishment of identity theft is considered a Class 4 felony with 2.5 years in prison.
Rape and Sexual Assault: When drugs or alcohol are involved, people’s judgement becomes impaired. Poor decisions can negatively affect many people. Rape and sexual assault are defined as having sexual contact with someone without their consent. A person impaired by drugs or alcohol is not able to give true consent and therefore this would be considered rape or sexual assault. Arizona takes this very seriously, with the penalty being up to twenty-eight years in prison with aggravated circumstances.
Robbery: With the increased crowds and more cash on hand during the holidays, this crime increases. Arizona takes robbery very seriously, and the punishment can be from one to twenty-eight years in prison, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime.
Shoplifting: With the pressure on to provide the best gifts for family, or the stores sparkling with so many nice things, shoplifting increases. Because of the mass hustle and bustle, distracted workers, and large crowds, shoplifting increases over the holidays. But be careful—once caught, the punishment could be up to six months in jail with a $2,500 fine, or even be classified as a Class 6 felony with more severe charges.
This holiday season there are many tempting opportunities to do wrong. Choose the right decisions to avoid all charges. Coolidge Law is here to advise you on the best defense moving forward. Contact us today!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/14/2017) Jim Lukach (Flickr)