A trend is emerging across the United States that may interest residents of Texas. Though crime has been declining for several decades, studies show that arrest numbers have increased. A new study found that people across the United States are now much more likely to be arrested before the age of 26 than those in previous generations.

Though only 6.4% of Americans who were born before 1949 have been arrested, 23% of those born between 1979 and 1988 have been detained by law enforcement. Though some believe that these figures contribute to the decline in violent crime seen in the past few decades, most of the arrests were for non-violent crimes. Less than 20% of arrests were for alleged violent crimes. The majority of arrests were for misdemeanors, non-violent crimes and drug crimes.

Experts say that the problem with the increase in arrests is the negative life-long effects they have on those detained by law enforcement. Statistics show that people who are arrested are less likely to get married and have fewer educational opportunities. Being detained also affects the amount of money earned each year. One study found that individuals detained before the age of 26 earned an average of $5,000 less per year than their cohorts. Over time, this ends up being a significant amount of money that negatively impacts individuals, families and communities.

Law enforcement officers often feel pressured by lawmakers to quickly convict individuals suspected of crimes. This may result in individuals being detained for crimes when there isn’t enough evidence. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help someone detained for an alleged felony by looking over any search and arrest warrants. If the warrants weren’t obtained legally, the individual may have had their rights violated, and the evidence may be inadmissible. The charges might then be reduced or dropped.