Top 5 Reasons You Should Know the Basics About Criminal Law
Firefighters don't wait for fires to start to educate people about how to put them out or stay safe when they occur. Criminal law should be viewed the exact same way. Take the same preventative approach and learn the basics about police interactions, your rights, and the criminal justice process.
Reason 1: Because Your Life is ValuableYou're special. I hope you know that. But mostly above just knowing, I hope you believe it. And if you do, then I know you'll value the life you have. But do you know how much your life is worth? Have you considered the value of your future? Your dreams? Your achievements? Your imagination and creativity and your power to create amazing things in your lifetime?
Now imagine what happens to people just like you, who have value in their lives, but after being accused of a crime, they feel the rug snatched from under them and their reputations hang in the balance, and their futures eerily dimmed.
You do not have to be a "criminal" to be charged with a crime. In fact, every day innocent and law abiding citizens are charged with crimes they didn't commit. Or accused of things that are false.
Whether it is you, your family member, a friend, acquaintance, or colleague, it is a guarantee that you or someone you know will be subjected to the inner workings of the criminal justice system at some point in your life.
Are you prepared for that? Do you know how to prevent yourself or the ones you love from having their lives altered unexpectedly in this way? Do you know what to do when a cop stops to ask you questions? Do you know how to safely interact? Do you know what to do if you are arrested? Do you know your rights every step of the way?
I'm guessing you don't. And it's not because I don't think you're smart or educated or knowledgeable. It's because I personally wasn't taught any of these things in grade school and I've encountered amazing people in my community who didn't receive this kind of free, valuable information either.
They are not alone. And neither are you.
So let's catch you up to speed. Shall we?
Reason 2: Because You Can't Afford to Struggle Financially for the Rest of Your LifeDid you know that being arrested, charged with a crime, or convicted of a crime can stifle your ability to choose a career path you deeply desire, or prohibit you from remaining in a profession you love? Or did you know that it can significantly decrease your earning potential and minimize your employment opportunities?
Can you afford to struggle financially for the rest of your life? I don't think so. And there's a way to prevent it.
Commit to learning the basics about criminal law.
Don't throw your potential to earn as much as you want just because you didn't want to take the little amount of time required to protect yourself.
Reason 3: Because People Have Opinions and Unfortunately, Those Opinions MatterEver went for a job interview and when someone found out something about you that they didn't like, they didn't care to listen to anything else you had to say?
Or have you ever been in conversation with someone who judged you based on your past but not on your vision for your future?
Yep, that's what it looks like when people have opinions, whether fair or not.
Now, you have a choice to surround yourself with only like-minded people and minimize your interaction with the haters or nay-sayers.
But imagine how an arrest or criminal charge can affect your reputation? Can change the way people view you? Can change the way people trust you? Believe in you? Give you a second chance?
You can protect your reputation just by learning how to avoid legal issues.
And you're not doing it because you care what people think, right? But you are doing it because reality includes the opinions of others and reality knows they can affect your growth and mindset.
Reason 4: Because You Don't Have to Be Another StatisticStatistics are historical snapshots of how people progress over time in certain situations, circumstances, and environments. The statistics generally show that people who are arrested or charged with crimes have difficulty rebounding because social stigmas exist and are powerful forces that bleed into your mindset and your optimism. That's not to say you can't overcome the obstacles, but if you had a chance to avoid becoming another number in the statistics of persons in the criminal justice system, wouldn't it be worth it?
Isn't there so much value in learning just a few tips and tricks to stay out of trouble or avoid conflict with police or even better, help someone you know or love avoid the same?
Reason 5: Because It's EasySometimes, people like what's easy. Not because they aren't willing to work hard, but because it's a nice break to know someone cares enough about you to take 10 minutes to inspire you or motivate you or give you a tidbit of knowledge.
If you are committed to always learning something new, you should add to your free education a basic understanding of criminal law and justice.
Because it's easy to listen, learn and remember.