With the holidays upon us, many folks are getting ready to travel to visit family or friends, and filling their calendars with festive parties and opportunities for holiday cheer. Unfortunately for many, the holidays also signal a time when crime rates go up. Just as shopping, decorations, and parties can be distracting, they can also be dangerous and prime breeding grounds for crimes. A simple unintentional mistake, can not only ruin your holiday spirit, but can also result in criminal charges. Here are some common crimes to pay attention to and avoid this holiday season.
Shoplifting and Theft
Theft is one of the most common crimes during the holidays. With all the extra people out and about in the malls and in stores, this is a time to be especially vigilant about your surroundings as you shop. Be mindful of what you are putting in you basket, and if it seems tempting to sneak something small into a purse or personal bag, resist the urge. A petty theft is still a crime, and can get you in a lot of trouble or even banned from a store location.
Stores often hire extra personnel and security during this time of year, which means there are extra eyes watching shoppers. If you are caught stealing, it is possible that you will have contact with law enforcement and face criminal charges.
During the holidays, there is often more contact with family and friends than any other time of the year. Tensions can run high, especially if there are previous issues that have been left unresolved by members of a family. It’s important to keep tempers in check, especially with the stress of the holidays increasing in the months of November and December.
There is usually plenty of alcohol around during the holidays, which can make the urge to drink and drive an easy urge to give into if you are out at a party. Be sure to always have a backup plan if you choose to drive yourself to a holiday event, whether that is a designated driver, phone number for a taxi company, or plan on using Uber or Lyft. Buzzed driving is also considered drunk driving and can get you a DUI if you are over the legal limit of alcohol, so if you plan to drink at all, do not drive.
Holiday Charity Scams
If you choose to participate in raising money for charity around the holidays, make sure that you are doing the fundraising in a legal manner. Do not falsely advertise who will receive the money, or collect funds for yourself under the pretense of donating to charity. These activities can get you charged with fraud, which is a criminal offense.
The holidays can be a fun and enjoyable time, so it’s important that you pay close attention to the activities that you are involved in throughout the last few months of the year in order to avoid ruining this time for your family and friends by making a critical mistake. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you will need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assist you in your case.
Holiday Safety Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved November 07, 2017, from http://www.lapdonline.org/crime_prevention/content_basic_view/1376
6 sneaky scams to watch out for this holiday season. (2017, November 03). Retrieved November 07, 2017, from http://www.wbir.com/article/money/magnify-money/6-sneaky-scams-to-watch-out-for-this-holiday-season/507-487509070