While the holidays should be a time of celebration and gathering, law enforcement departments also know that the holidays mean increased rates of certain types of criminal activity.
Do More Crimes Occur over the Holidays?
Studies have found that theft and fraud-related crimes do occur more frequently during the holiday season, while other types of crime, including violent crimes, do not see an uptick in rates over the holidays. Theft crimes are believed to occur more frequently over the holidays either due to people’s desperation when facing financial difficulties at the end of the year or due to career criminals taking advantage of the greater number of opportunities to steal.
Common Holiday-Related Crimes
Some of the most common crimes committed over the holidays include:
- Shoplifting, as people may take advantage of the chaos in stores during the holiday shopping season to steal merchandise. People may shoplift to obtain holiday gifts for others they cannot afford, or to obtain something for themselves, or to steal merchandise they can later sell for profit).
- Pickpocketing or robbery, as many people may be out and about enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays, and less aware of who may be around them looking to steal a wallet, purse, or cell phone.
- Burglary: people who commit home invasion and theft know that the holidays are a time when many people’s homes are filled with new, expensive holiday gifts. In addition, many homes are left unoccupied for days as people go on vacation during the holidays, leaving burglars plenty of time to go through a home to find items worth stealing.
- Cybercrime, including identity theft and scams: As people put their credit card information into numerous websites during their holiday gift shopping, hackers may see this as an opportunity to steal financial data they can use themselves or sell to other criminals. In addition, the holidays are one of the biggest scam periods of the year, as criminals may set up fake charitable causes to solicit donations or other contributions from unsuspecting victims.
In addition to theft-related crimes, DUI offenses also tend to increase in number during the holidays, as people may enjoy a holiday dinner or party a little too much, getting behind the wheel after having consumed alcohol without taking time to sober up.
What to Do If You Are Arrested for a Holiday-Related Crime
If you find yourself under arrest for a crime over the holidays, the first thing you should do is to remember and exercise your rights under arrest. This includes the right to remain silent. You should politely but firmly inform the police officers that you will decline to answer any questions, and then you should refrain from voluntarily offering any statements to the police. In addition, you should also exercise your right to legal counsel. You are entitled to talk to an attorney before being questioned by police and to have your attorney present during questioning if you do choose to talk to the police.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the details of your arrest and charges and help you understand your legal rights and options, including advising you on the best course of action to take in responding to your arrest and charges.
Contact an Experienced Audubon Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC have successfully represented clients charged with crimes in Cherry Hill, Haddon Township, Camden, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 452-4820 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office located at 109 E. Atlantic Ave., Audubon, NJ 08106, in addition to offices located in Hamilton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.