What happens when a teenager uses the excuse of not knowing any better as a defense to their crimes? While 10 years ago the idea of affluenza may have been unheard of, if not completely laughable, in today’s day and age the defense of affluenza may actually work.
Several years ago a Texas teenager used his affluent upbringing as the reason behind him not knowing the difference between right and wrong. Initially, this defense was seen as the desperate attempt of a wealthy family to defend their son against charges resulting from a drunk driving crash that killed four people. After a lengthy and highly publicized trial, the teenager was given probation in lieu of the jail sentence he could have received.
To many people the idea of affluenza as a defense against crime may be seen as a ridiculous ploy. However, the truth may actually be that the more our youths live in virtual, hands-off and in the personal world, the less likely they may be to understand the consequences behind their actions. Let’s face it, text messaging has replaced face-to-face communication and social media has replaced coping skills.
For many American teens, the line between right and wrong has become somewhat blurred. For children of affluent families, this blurred line may actually be nonexistent. Not only has the new helicopter parenting style taken over, but some children have become so accustomed to having their parents ever present that considering the consequences of their actions while alone is unnecessary.
Even though the notion of affluenza has received serious criticism in the past, enough children are being raised with no understanding of the difference between right and wrong making it an actual problem. For parents coming to the realization that their children may actually have this issue, speaking to an attorney about how to defend against criminal charges may be a good idea.