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Do certain crimes increase in rate during the summer months?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2023 | Criminal Law |

Crime rates are vastly different in various locations and from year to year. State and federal authorities carefully track reports of crimes and court activity to look for trends that seem to connect crimes and explain crime rates. The more researchers, lawmakers and law enforcement professionals understand criminal activity, the more effective legislation may be at addressing it and the easier it will be for the police to stop and apprehend those who break the law.

What causes criminal conduct differs from case to case. Factors including personal financial hardship and ease of opportunity influence the likelihood of criminal activity. People commit crimes year-round in Oklahoma, as throughout the rest of the country, for all kinds of reasons.

Crimes of passion and impulsive criminal acts, like shoplifting, can potentially occur at any time. However, there does seem to be a cycle to the occurrences of certain kinds of criminal activity. For decades, researchers have warned that the summer months, in particular, tend to see an uptick in criminal activity, for example.

Several kinds of crime increase in the summer

As temperatures rise, people get out of their homes more, head to pools or beaches, plan family reunions and celebrate summer holidays. Those that attend parties could very well make the unsafe decision to drive home after drinking or consuming drugs. Every summer, drunk driving collisions increase noticeably, and the season is when a disproportionate number of annual drunk driving deaths occur.

Unsafe driving places aren’t the only kind of crime that increase in the summer. Warmer weather may lead to a noticeable increase in several forms of violent crime. Homicides noticeably increase during the warmer months. In fact, almost all violent crime increases perceptibly once ambient temperatures exceed 85º Fahrenheit. People who are warmer are often more irritable and therefore are more prone to poor self-control.

What does this mean for criminal defendants?

While there may be a correlation between warmer weather and increased criminal activity, those accused of violating Oklahoma state statutes typically cannot blame it on the weather. Still, they may have options for defending themselves based on the law and the situation that lead to their arrest.

Discussing one’s situation with a lawyer is often an important step for anyone who is accused of a crime during the summer or at any other point throughout the year, as that conversation might lead to a more favorable outcome than one would be able to achieve on one’s own.