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The Most Common Holiday Crimes and Their Defenses

You might have heard that crime increases near the holidays. But why is this? Some researchers claim that holiday crime is all about opportunity. People are deviating from their normal routines and doing things they do not typically do. This means criminals have an open window in which they can act. Unfortunately, innocent people get caught in the crossfire.
The holidays are also especially stressful, meaning that people may behave in ways they wouldn't otherwise. The result can be an arrest you certainly did not plan for.
Understanding the most common crimes that occur surrounding the holidays is helpful, whether you need to defend your legal rights or you want to protect yourself and your family.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is a major concern during the holiday season. Driving under the influence (DUI) may be more common during the holidays because the season can contribute to stress. DUI can also be prompted by the influx of holiday parties that often involve lots of drinking and very little public transportation.
Several defenses to DUI currently exist. For example, you can challenge the breathalyzer or field sobriety test you were given. You might also establish a defense based on necessity, duress, or entrapment. You might also have a case for claiming you were wrongfully stopped by police in the first place.
Burglary is a crime commonly associated with the winter holidays because people are often traveling, which leaves their houses empty and potentially full of expensive gadgets and gifts. Burglary may also happen right after the holidays when people are showing off their new holiday gifts.
In addition to proclaiming innocence, individuals charged with burglary can also make a case for entrapment. You may also have the opportunity to argue you were not committing an act of burglary. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding involved, like you tried to enter the wrong home while visiting family.
Shoplifting & Theft
Shoplifting is a significant crime that occurs throughout the winter holidays, but personal theft is also more common. Those who shop online may notice packages going missing from their porches or mailboxes more often.
Defenses against shoplifting and other types of theft often revolve around mistake of fact or mistaken identity. Perhaps you brought an item you owned into a store without realizing it. You may also demonstrate that you took the item on accident, not with intention.
Domestic Violence
The significant pressure put on families during the holidays may actually be linked to domestic violence incident increases. Intimate partner violence increases on certain holidays, specifically when alcohol consumption increases.
Defense against domestic violence might include claims that somebody else made a false allegation, either on purpose or on the basis of mistaken identity. Another defense against domestic violence is self-defense or the defense of others. The holidays can become heated when you are spending time with family you may not necessarily get along with.
Auto Theft
In addition to the shoplifting and theft present during the holidays, auto theft also increases. This could be because many people start leaving their cars running to warm them up, especially in the mornings before work.
Some defenses to use if you are accused of auto theft might include intoxication or the claim of ownership. You might also claim entrapment or that you intended to return the vehicle in question.
Armstrong, Betker and Schaeffer, PLC offers criminal defense services to Michigan defendants. Our team builds long-lasting client relationships based on quality and integrity. Call today to discuss your case today, and we’ll guide you through what defense will work best for your individual case.