The U.S. crime rate has been on the decline for decades, but the number of people getting arrested in Missouri and across the country is increasing according to a recent study. The research was published in the journal Crime & Delinquency.
The study found that Americans born between 1979 and 1988 are around 3.6 times more likely to have been arrested before the age of 26 than Americans born before 1949. Overall, approximately 23% of U.S. adults between the ages of 26 and 35 have been taken into custody, compared with around 6.4% of adults age 66 or older. The study found that around 28% of women and 19% of men were arrested for serious crimes, including thefts, robberies and assaults. However, many others were arrested for relatively low-level crimes. For example, 31% of women and 28% of men were taken in for “other misdemeanors,” 11% of women and 16% of men were arrested for underage drinking, and 8% of women and 9% of men were arrested for drug crimes.
Social experts say that petty arrests may do more harm than good. For instance, the study found that people with arrest records were less likely to get married, had more difficulty finding employment and earned less money than those with clean records. Specifically, the study found that people who had been arrested at least once by the age of 26 earned about $5,000 less per year than those who had not been arrested. Meanwhile, those who were arrested multiple times by age 26 earned around $13,000 less per year.
Individuals who are convicted of petty crimes could face harsh consequences, including jail time, probation and a permanent criminal record. A criminal defense attorney may represent a defendant’s interests in court and work to get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.