Friday, April 06, 2007

My Hypothetical Criminal Record

Have you ever sat down and thought out what your hypothetical criminal record would be if all the crimes you committed in your life would have been reported to the police and prosecuted? I think about a lot more with my juvenile clients who are racking up a criminal record even before they're adults. I wonder how much harder it will be for them to get into college, to get student loans, to get a job, to get an apartment. And I wonder why the hell the state is prosecuting so many of these kids instead of just giving some of them a good, stern lecture, grounding them, or allowing for some other form of parental punishment that worked just fine on so many of us, and allowed us to put our juvenile mistakes behind us without a criminal record, and move on to be responsible, productive adults.

I may be leaving some stuff out, but here it is. My hypothetical juvenile criminal record:

Theft
Assault - domestic violence
Harassment - domestic violence
Driving without a license
Reckless driving
Criminal trespass

Now, I was pretty much a square, goody-goody as a kid, and never drank or smoked pot, so I managed to avoid those convictions. But between fights with my older brother, shoplifting, and driving like a goddamned maniac, I could have racked up plenty of charges. And you know, it's not just having a criminal record that hurts kids; it's any contact with the juvenile system. There are some kids, sure, who may need to be on probation, with the threat of detention time to get them the help they need. But many kids don't. And bringing them into the criminal justice system does them harm. I want to post more on this--the harm done just by being in the system--in future posts. But for now, I'm just thankful that it never happened to me.

Don't be shy now--feel free to leave a comment with your hypothetical criminal record.

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53 Comments:

Anonymous Gideon said...

Definitely assault. I got into a few fights with other kids my age (who were my friends) around where I lived.

4/06/2007 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet a lot of people violated 18 USC 2279 (Sailormongering)

4/06/2007 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, lots of drugs. LSD, pot, some more exotic. I've never hit anyone, but I have been hit. I've also talked people out of dangerous use situations (huffiing, for instance).

4/06/2007 10:42 PM  
Blogger TexPD4Parity said...

All i will say is thank heaven for statues of limitations. Um, what is the statute of limitations on sailormongering?

4/07/2007 6:01 AM  
Blogger TexPD4Parity said...

jeez..I meant "statutes of limitations", although the way I had it originally gives one pause to think...

4/07/2007 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Why limit it to a hypothetical juvenile record? The hypothetical adult records could be just as interesting-hypothetically of course!

4/09/2007 3:14 AM  
Blogger 123txpublicdefender123 said...

No reason to limit it to your juvenile record! That's just as far as I wanted to go.

Sailormongering is something I don't think I've ever engaged in, but since I technically don't know what it is, maybe I did, and just don't know it!

The thing that really gets me are this kids who get tagged with domestic violence assault charges for fights with their siblings. Are there really people out there who never got into a physical altercation with a sibling? Should you be tagged as a perpetrator of domestic violence (which makes you sound like a wife-beater) for that? I don't think so.

4/09/2007 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let't not forget the most common crime-- and the bane of my existence-- disorderly conduct.

4/09/2007 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the crimes listed above, my list would included statutory rape and several other related sexual offenses. (CA's laws are pretty backwards in this area.)

4/11/2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger not a. said...

i really want to reuse this..
my preliminary list includes---
abetting drug trafficking
abetting graffitti
underage consumption of alcohol
criminal trespassing
truancy
curfew violations
drug possession
under the influence of drugs
theft/ shoplifting
assault- domestic violence
harrassment - domestic violence
harassment

4/11/2007 6:58 PM  
Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Adult near-arrest: Disturbing the Peace.

My upstairs neighbor is an idiot who corrals her and her sister's kids onto the balcony (that's six kids, mind you) during the summer because she's afraid they'll be kidnapped.

Last summer I politely asked her not once but three times to PLEASE let her kids play in the meadow that's at the center of our apartment complex. No dice.

So one hot day in August, I lost my temper at the cacophony coming from upstairs, stuck my face out my front door and roared "SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!" three times. I felt bad that the kids had to hear that, because they were just being kids, but when you're angry you just don't think of those things.

She called the cops. The cops came to my door. They told me they would arrest me if such a thing ever happened again.

So there's my "almost."

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