Violent crimes like assault and battery come with very serious ramifications. They can be incredibly detrimental for teenagers and other young people, who can get a criminal record that follows them around for life.

Unfortunately, these young people may also be more likely to engage in violent behavior because they deal with anger issues, faulty thinking and impulsive decision-making. In the heat of the moment, a teen may do something that he or she will regret for years to come, all without really thinking it through. Even without malicious intent, this can lead to serious charges.

Why does it happen? Part of the reason is brain development. We often think of teens as adults when they hit 18 years old. Legally, they may count as adults, but that does not mean everyone from 18 to 90 thinks the same. In fact, researchers have discovered that brain development really is not complete until someone is well into their 20s.

This isn’t to excuse teens’ behavior, per se, but it shows you why they engage in faulty thinking and make decisions that, to older people, make very little sense. They honestly do not see the world the same way. It’s harder for them to think through their choices. They tend to act impulsively and lash out at a moment’s notice. They often do not think about the long-term ramifications, but they just think about how they feel right then.

These behaviors can significantly hinder a promising future. It is very important for teens and their parents to understand all of their legal defense options when facing charges for violent crimes.