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Brain development, peer pressure and teen crime

Juvenile crimes are so catastrophic because one action at a young age can follow a person for the rest of his or her life. That's why it's so important for teens and their parents to know all of their legal options whenever they are accused of criminal activity. It is nothing to take lightly.

Why do teens get in trouble and make mistakes that are hard for adults to understand? One reason is that brain development really isn't over during the teenage years. Experts believe it is still happening until a person hits his or her mid-20s. That's after most people have finished going to college.

With this lack of brain development comes issues like immaturity and poor decision-making skills. Young people may lack judgment or make rash, impulsive decisions. They do not have nearly as much control over it as some people think. Their very biology works against them.

On top of that -- and perhaps because of it -- young people are very susceptible to outside pressures. Negative influences like peer pressure can force them to do things they do not really want to do. They do not control their environments the way they will as adults. While they may often talk about independence, individuality and other such traits, the reality is that they are easily influenced by things around them.

All of this makes juvenile crime very likely, even when the ramifications are serious. Again, it is absolutely critical for those involved to know all of their rights and legal defense options so that they can protect their future.

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