What it’s like to get arrested during the holiday season

The holidays are an exciting but also really stressful time for the year for most. Whether it’s the financial constraints of gift-giving or the social pressures of family gatherings, there are a number of ways that people can get themselves in trouble around this time of year. In order to avoid having any detrimental run-ins with the law over the holidays, here is what you need to know about arrests and what to do to avoid them.

Law enforcement has its hands full

As said, there are many reasons that crime tends to skyrocket during the holiday season with people drinking more at parties and making risky decisions when it comes to driving, and potentially turning to theft to afford gifts. During this time of year, police have a larger presence but are also stretched to capacity. Because of this, response times may be longer, and patience may be a little on the thin side.

Courts are jammed

When arrests do happen over the holiday season, one really important difference between most other times of year is that you will have to be prepared for delays that may keep you in jail longer. Due to not only courts being packed when scheduling for bond hearings, but also dealing with holiday hours in certain departments. These factors can cause a  significant delay in getting seen by a judge. It is however important to know that by law, you have to be seen for a court hearing within a certain number of hours (usually 48-72 max) but it is not counted on weekends or holidays.

How to avoid getting arrested over the holidays

To avoid the stress and headaches that come with an arrest, the best thing to do is to prepare.  If you or your loved ones will be attending parties and you expect that drinking will occur, it might just be best to use an Uber or Taxi instead of driving to the destination. This way there won’t be the temptation to drive home or you won’t need to leave your car in an unfamiliar location. Also, give yourself ample time to arrive at places to avoid speeding tickets or any cause for reckless driving. The last piece of advice to stay safe would be to practice self-care and kindness. It is a stressful time and tempers flare so even a little understanding can go a long way.  

In conclusion, there is a lot going on during this time of year and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated but if you give yourself space to have clarity and just make arrangements ahead of time, it can be the difference between spending the holidays with family or in a jail cell.