Spring break is an exciting time for teenagers. Hey, we all need a break from the stresses of life — school, in their case — and enjoy a week of fun, right?
The problem is, sometimes spring break isn’t just all fun and games. It is common for teenagers to cross the line into engaging in acts of mischief while school is out, too.
Below are some of the most common acts that are seen during this time. As a parent, being aware of what we see happening in your neighborhoods can help your teen avoid getting caught up in the mix.
Common Spring Break Crimes in Minnesota
Most of the criminal activity that happens among teens is relatively straightforward. Five of the most common juvenile crime cases that come across our desks over Spring Break are:
- Disorderly conduct
- Drug possession
- Underage drinking
- Public intoxication
Let’s take a closer look at each…
Disorderly conduct is when an individual causes alarm to or angers or disturbs others, provokes an assault, or breaches the peace in a public or private place. It is not uncommon to find young people being cited for disorderly conduct as it can happen as a result of something as simple as being noisy after hours.
Some Spring Break parties can get out of hand, though, and it is not uncommon for there to be drugs present. Possession and use of illegal substances constitutes a criminal act and can land an individual in a lot more trouble than a simple disorderly conduct charge.
Drug possession charges can have very severe consequences on an individual and greatly affect their quality of life moving forward.
Drinking Under the Age Limit
Many students that are celebrating Spring Break are not of the legal drinking age, too. Despite this, many of these underage teenagers will engage in drinking anyway.
This is a criminal offense and police officers are going to be on high alert for underage drinkers. It is common for individuals to be cited for this offense during Spring Break.
The most common crime committed during Spring Break is public intoxication. It is practically a tradition for teenagers to drink during this time and become intoxicated in public places.
Although there is no law specifically prohibiting public intoxication in Minnesota, there are laws against disruptive intoxication that could be applied to teenagers on Spring Break. We often see a disruptive intoxication charge stacked on top of charges for underage drinking.
Out of public view, the final common case for teens on Spring Break is trespassing, and, usually, it’s not what you think of it. More often during this time frame, a trespassing charge is the result of a failure to leave a club or a party after closing time. That said, trespassing on private property can also land your child a trespassing charge.
Understanding Minnesota Juvenile Crimes
Juvenile cases are handled in juvenile courts which operate a bit differently than other courts. In a juvenile case, a crime is considered a wrongful act against the state and it is the state that will be charging the juvenile with a crime. The Juvenile system aims to rehabilitate and treat young offenders and is more restorative in nature than the adult penal system.
How Can You Prevent a Record of Mischief?
If a juvenile is charged and convicted of a mischief offense, there are ways to get rid of a juvenile record. However, it is still far better to be proactive and try to avoid these charges in the first place.
There are certain ways for parents to help prevent juvenile crimes and mischief in the first place. Some methods include mentoring programs, extracurricular activities, organizations, and so on. Information and empowerment go a long way in helping youths make better decisions.
Spring Break is and should be an exciting time for students to relax and forget about the stress of school. However, it is important to keep in mind what behavior is and isn’t acceptable during this time in order to avoid common mischief charges.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).