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5 common late teenage/early 20s mistakes that are actually crimes

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Firm News |

Adolescents and young adults have a tendency to experiment with new behaviors and push boundaries. When done within reasonable limits, these efforts can help with exploring their newfound freedoms and finding their voice. However, it can be difficult for youths to determine where to draw the line between harmless fun and legal trouble.

Parents of young adults should help ensure their teenagers better understand the youthful indiscretions that are actually crimes. This way, they can explore and grow into who they want to be without getting in trouble with the legal system.


It’s quite common for young adults to crash a party that isn’t open to the public or take a shortcut through private property without realizing that trespassing is an actual crime. They may also choose an abandoned building as a hangout spot so that they can have fun without adult supervision. Parents who notice their teenagers sneaking into restricted areas for fun or curiosity should warn them of the potential legal consequences.

Underage drinking

Many young adults are tempted to find out what the fuss over alcohol is all about before they attain the legal drinking age. This harmless curiosity can expose them to danger due to their impaired judgment. Parents should let their teenagers know that even possessing alcohol is a punishable crime.

Disorderly conduct

Most young adults think that being rowdy is cool. Even those who aren’t inclined to be loud and disruptive may engage in disorderly conduct to fit in and get the approval of their peers. Well, disturbing the peace can get young adults in legal trouble. Unruly behavior like public intoxication and swearing may seem harmless, but the law stipulates punishments for such behavior.


Damaging or defacing property is a common phenomenon during protests. Young adults are inclined to spray paint graffiti on a premises’ walls or damage someone’s vehicle to get their message across. Parents should let their teenagers know that peaceful protesting is a better way to advocate for courses that they’re passionate about.


Young adults who were born into the digital age have grown up in a digital where cyberbullying has been normalized. For this reason, many of them assume it’s a harmless way of engaging in conflict online. The reality is cyberbullying can have adverse effects on victims’ mental well-being, and the law recognizes this.

Helping teenagers understand the consequences of seemingly harmless behavior can help them avoid legal trouble in young adulthood. That said, parents whose teenagers or young adults find them on the wrong side of the shouldn’t lose hope. With the right legal guidance, they can potentially learn their lesson without having to endure harsh penalties as a result of their cluelessness.