If you ask someone to define which individuals are criminals and which ones are not, they may tell you that criminals are people who break the law. These could be very serious laws, like murder, or more minor laws, like shoplifting. There are also plenty of offenses in the middle of that spectrum, such as drunk driving or embezzlement.
However, this perception may not be quite as accurate as people assume. There are those who claim that everyone has a criminal history, even if they don’t all have criminal records. How can they make this claim?
Not everyone gets caught
The basis for this opinion is simply that someone who is a “criminal” is not a person who breaks the law. It is a person who breaks the law and then gets caught by the authorities and convicted in court.
But the reality, these researchers claim, is that many people break the law and simply don’t get caught. Maybe no one ever finds out. Maybe the police make a mistake, and the case has to be dropped. Perhaps evidence isn’t handled properly.
There are many reasons why someone might not have a criminal record. But those who are accused of crimes often feel like outsiders — as if they are being accused of doing something that the majority of the population never does. That idea can be problematic in itself.
The truth is that many people engage in these activities, but they simply never get caught. The average person has at least one event they could tell you about where, had they been caught, they also would have faced serious charges.
If you have been arrested, you may be worried about life-altering ramifications. Take the time to carefully look into your defense options.