‘Tis the Season for Criminal Threats
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven people to prepare for the holidays a little bit earlier, making it a good time to discuss the not-so-cheerful side of the season: Crime. Although companies, individuals and families are preparing for the “most wonderful time of the year,” they must also brace themselves for the prominent threat of criminal offenses. To put it into perspective, almost one in four US adults report having a package stolen during the holidays while the FBI reports that both non-delivery and non-payment scams affected more than 65,000 victims, causing almost $184 million in losses in 2019.
With this in mind, it’s important to recognize the six common holiday crimes that law enforcement agencies are on high-alert for.
Families take advantage of the holiday season by going on vacation, leaving their homes and other valuables vulnerable to break-ins. Many people have already purchased gifts, set up their decorations and planned their getaways for the holidays, creating opportunities for burglary. For your information, burglary is defined as breaking and entering, or trespassing, another person’s property with the intent to commit a crime on such property.
Retail stores and malls are already bustling with shoppers who are eager to access highly-demanded discounts and offers, creating an opportunity for people to take advantage of the distractions and chaos by shoplifting. As such, retailers are constantly scanning for shoplifters, especially during the holidays. Considering the fact that theft, fraud and other losses totaled $61.7 billion in 2019, it is not surprising that employees throughout the nation are on the lookout for retail theft and will not hesitate to prosecute suspects.
Drunk driving rates may increase as the number of holiday parties increase. Social gatherings and holiday parties involving alcohol create an increased risk of operating while intoxicated, which explains why more police officers patrol the roads during the holiday season. We advise you to drink responsibly and rely on a designated driver, taxi service or rideshare service rather than driving while impaired.
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of holiday tensions. Many families reunite after months and years apart, creating a recipe for heated conversations and debates around the dinner table. And it only escalates from there. Between budgeting for gifts and vacations, spending excessive time with relatives and drinking more alcohol, people can easily feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. As a result, they may commit domestic violence.
Now more than ever, it is easy for cybercriminals to access personal information online, including bank information, passwords and social security details. Among the most common sholiday fraud crimes are credit card fraud, charity scams, identity theft and data breaches. As such, the FBI is well-aware of these fraudulent offenses and vigorously works to prosecute the accused.
Holiday parties can establish a dangerous setting for vulnerable people. Alcohol impairs judgment and may consist of “date rape” drugs, leading to countless incidents of sexual assault. If convicted, a person may suffer a felony charge punishable by sex offender registration, jail time, fines and more.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Facing criminal charges? Put a former prosecutor with 20+ years of experience on your side. Our Milwaukee criminal defense attorney has the high-caliber legal arsenal you need to defend your charges and fight for your future, therefore we urge you to waste no time in contacting us at (414) 882-8382! We offer free consultations and 24/7 availability.