A lot of illegal activity comes with a basis around personal gain, but may be committed due to desperate circumstances. While someone robs a store in order to get something for free another person might steal to pay their family’s bills. One person will break the speed limit to get to their destination faster while another races to make an important appointment. 

Many people break the law purposely while others do it out of necessity. They understand the potential ramifications, whether it’s insider trading or drunk driving or something else entirely. So, what is it that makes people decide that they’re going to violate the law?

Their friends are doing it

This is the reason for a lot of common crimes committed by college students, such as underage drinking or drug use. They simply want to fit in. They live in an environment where these things become common. They stop thinking of them as risky, illegal behavior, and they’re willing to engage in them so that they’re not the only person following the law. Peer pressure has a massive impact, especially on young people.

Everyone is doing it

A related reason is that people simply feel like everyone else already breaks the law, and this makes them feel like the odds of getting caught are very small. This is often the excuse given by people who get stopped for breaking the speed limit. They argue that every car around them was also speeding. However, while many people do break the law and get away with it, that’s not typically a good defense.

They’re smarter than everyone else

For better or worse, some people trust in their own intelligence. They feel like the other people who get caught for the same crimes just were not smart enough to avoid the authorities, but they are. For instance, maybe someone who decides to move drugs across state lines has a new way to do it without detection, or so they believe. They feel smarter than people who get caught in a car with a trunk full of drugs, so they break the same laws.

They believed a myth

In some cases, people who break the law don’t actually know that what they’re doing is illegal. They got bad information and bought into a myth. Maybe they read it on the internet or listened to a friend who seemed very confident at the time. No matter how it happened, they felt shocked when it actually led to an arrest.

Your rights

Have you gotten arrested on serious charges? No matter why it happened, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you can take in Massachusetts.