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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Arrest rates growing for young people nationwide

Being arrested can have a major impact on the rest of a person's life. According to a study released by the RAND Corporation, people arrested in California and across the country see ongoing effects to their wages, relationships and other future outcomes after an initial arrest. For example, when people are arrested one time, they are around 3.5 percent less likely to marry later. While this may seem relatively small, the drop continues to grow with each subsequent arrest.

Furthermore, people who were arrested on criminal charges one time as a youth earned about $6,000 less each year during their adulthood. If that arrest was for drug charges or a violent crime, that income would drop by around $11,000 each year. Multiple arrests led to an average income loss of $13,000 annually. These statistics reveal an ongoing link between poverty and criminalization, and the researchers attributed changes over time to an increasing emphasis on arrests, prosecution and enforcement.

Given these disturbing statistics, the researchers raised concern about a growing number of young people being arrested. Using national data from the Census Bureau, they found that people aged 26 to 35 were 3.6 times more likely to have been arrested when they had been younger than 26 than were people over 66. While black men were around 10 percent more likely than white men to be arrested, they said that racial disparities were closing over time. However, rather than leading to fewer arrests of black men, trends instead pointed to an increasing arrest rate for young white men.

An arrest and conviction can lead to severe consequences that continue throughout a person's life, from jail time to heavy fines to a criminal record that can prevent people from achieving their goals. People facing charges can turn to a criminal defense attorney to help protect their interests.

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