You may have heard people say that “we are all criminals.” It’s a refrain that has taken on a level of popularity lately, and it stands out because it’s so different than the way society usually thinks about criminal records.
Generally, there is a sense of “us” and “them.” Those who have committed crimes and those who have not. But the idea that everyone is a criminal turns this on its head by saying that the only difference between those with a criminal record and those without is that the people with a record got caught. Everyone broke the law. It’s just that 75% of them never had to deal with the legal ramifications.
There is no stereotype
Researchers who have looked into this and interviewed people who have admitted to crimes that were never charged as such noted that you can’t stereotype people who are criminals or those who aren’t. People who have simply never been arrested were:
- Police officers
- Business owners
In short, anyone can be a criminal under the right circumstances. At some point, everyone has done something wrong. Maybe it’s the man who drove home after having one too many drinks and just didn’t get pulled over. Maybe it’s the woman who didn’t report some of her earnings on her taxes because she thought no one would ever know. Everyone has a story like this, even though most people have no criminal record.
It’s important to keep this in mind as you consider your legal options after an arrest. You’re not alone. You’re not an outlier. Everyone has been here at one point or another. What matters is how you approach the future.