According to social media and Hallmark movies, the holidays are a time of thoughtful gift exchanges, joyful reunions, and beloved family traditions. In reality, many of us worry the season will be a time of financial stress and emotionally charged confrontations. Whether marriages have fallen apart or siblings have become estranged, the stark contrast between what we see on TV and what we experience in our own lives can be extraordinarily painful.
This stress is one of the most commonly cited reasons for the heightened rate of crime we see during the holiday season. When familial tensions, financial crises, and alcohol use worsen, acts of desperation and false allegations may increase as well.
Avoid These 5 Common Charges During the Holidays
The chaos of the end of the year invites endless misunderstandings. Knowing the relationship between crime and the holiday season will help you stay safe, protect your reputation, and avoid finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Here are 5 common allegations people face during (or shortly after) the holiday season:
- Larceny (i.e. theft of personal property). With the increased pressure to splurge on holiday gifts and outings, financial hardship becomes overwhelming for many people at the end of the year. The desperation, shopping spree chaos, and overall stress combine to create the perfect conditions for theft.
- Robbery. Many fail to understand the crucial difference between theft and robbery. Robbery is a much more serious crime because it involves the use or threat of force. Because robbery is typically a felony in the state of Washington, penalties can be severe.
- DUI. Alcohol is a staple of holiday celebrations, and troubled family relationships never help. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, law enforcement throughout the country combat the heightened risk of drunk driving during the holiday season by increasing patrols and sobriety checks—especially between Christmas and New Year’s. This added security may result in unfair or false allegations of driving under the influence. Take extra care this season to arrange rides and avoid getting pulled over.
- Sexual assault. Because alcohol consumption typically increases during the holidays, allegations of sexual assault may as well. A report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that alcohol consumption worsens the risk factors that lead to non-consensual sexual activities. Be sure your romantic holiday date stays safe, reasonably sober, and explicitly consensual to avoid this common yet life-altering charge.
- Domestic violence. In truth, reports of legitimate domestic violence decrease at the end of the calendar year. However, relationships take on significant emotional burdens and situational stress during the holiday season. Misunderstandings can lead to fights, and fights can escalate toward serious accusations. Reports may decrease in the month of December, but things may change once relatives part ways and the romance of the season is over.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, an accusation is not a charge, and a charge is not a sentence. Be prepared for increased stress this holiday season and reach out to our qualified team of attorneys for additional support.
At Hester Law Group, our lawyers have more than 150 years of combined litigation experience. We founded our firm decades ago to raise Tacoma’s standard of criminal defense. If you are concerned about potential allegations during the holiday season or are currently facing charges, we are ready to fight for your reputation and freedom. Schedule your free consultation or call (253) 300-3034 for immediate support today.