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Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel
Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

Peer pressure may influence teens to break the law

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Criminal Law |

When teenagers break the law, parents are often frustrated because they just don’t understand why. For instance, many teens get picked up on shoplifting charges when stealing things that they could afford or didn’t even need. Parents can’t understand why they would engage in this type of activity, potentially putting their future in jeopardy, and it just doesn’t make sense.

If you are a parent who has found yourself in this position, one thing to consider is the influence of peer pressure. When teens are pressured, they may act in a way that doesn’t fit with their normal behavior. This could lead to criminal activity that your child never would’ve engaged in on their own.

Why is peer pressure so powerful?

Peer pressure is powerful for a few reasons, starting with the fact that teens want to be accepted and have an inherent desire to be part of the group. If they feel that they will be pushed out of the group for not going along with what they’re doing – such as when everyone else is also shoplifting – then they may take risks and do things that don’t reflect their true character.

Additionally, some teens will intentionally use this pressure to get others to take risks. For instance, the ringleader of the group could dare your teenager to shoplift or break the law. To an adult, it sounds like the teenager could just turn down the dare and easily avoid arrest, but the social pressure to fit in is very strong at that age. 

Regardless of why your teenager was arrested, you are aware of the potential impact on their future. You must know about your criminal defense options.