Sociologists and other professionals may look at criminals and their behavior to theorize why people break the law. Some assert that habitual criminals might repeatedly find themselves in an Iowa criminal court because they are victims of their environment. Others suggest that troubling environments could make someone less inclined to commit crimes. Regardless, anyone who breaks the law for whatever reason may face prison time for their actions.
Environment and victims
The environment can be a catch-all term for factors influencing someone’s criminal behavior. A young person who grows up in a home or neighborhood exposed to criminal actions could follow in the path if led that way by someone else. A relative involved in theft or other crimes might make such behaviors seem less risky and more acceptable. Another person may grow up in a home where adults abuse alcohol and drugs, leading to behavioral issues later in life, including criminal actions.
However, another child brought up in the same environment could see criminal behavior and addiction issues as warning signs. They may look at the negative consequences befalling people around them who traveled down a risky path and realize they should avoid mimicking such a life. Different people may react to environmental and social factors differently.
Crimes and consequences
Criminal defense approaches and prosecutorial actions often center on facts. Although someone may claim their victimhood status led them down a troubled path, such claims might not change the facts that point to their guilt in a drug possession or burglary case. The defendant may need to present a credible defense that proves innocence to overcome the charges.
A defense could address other issues, such as any violations of the defendant’s rights. If the police violate a suspect’s rights, evidence may be suppressed. In other cases, a defendant may plea bargain to avoid harsher punishments.