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Sometimes "I don't know" is the right answer

Posted by Ed Tydings | Jul 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

In my criminal and traffic cases I meet a lot of teens and young adults. One of the many questions I ask them is"Why did you do this?"

The most common answer is: "I don't know". Other responses are often "It seemed like a good idea at the time" or "Everyone was doing it". It seems silly, but I believe that these responses are often completely accurate. Neuroscience has concluded that young people's brains connect up at different rates and at different times. As always, boys seem to take longer than girls. The cortex and the frontal lobe connection may not be completed until the late or mid twenties. This connection is vital for impulse control. The full connection allows for a consideration of consequences and situations.

I have found this theory to be very useful in providing mitigation to Judges. Some weight can be given to the science while not sounding like an excuse. I tell young people all the time that they should constantly be asking themselves two questions:

Where am I?  and   Who am I with?

These two questions can compel a consideration of circumstances and consequences that does not come naturally. Most of the cases I handle involve young people who are with other people and are in places where they are exposed. You do not have to smoke pot to be arrested for possession of pot found in a vehicle you are riding in. You often do not know what people have on them or what is in a car. The same is true with almost all offenses.

I often speak to young people, groups and organizations. I try to give kids practical tools they can use to avoid the risky situations.You can change the way they think. However, that is always more successful after an event rather than before.

I do not represent many bad kids. Almost are are good kids who are trying to cope with the issues of being teens and young adults. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

All the best.  Ed

About the Author

Ed Tydings

Mr. Tydings has extensive experience in defense of criminal and serious traffic charges including DWI/DUI charges, adult and juvenile, and he is known for his ability to assist and guide you through the entire system while focusing on your personal situation with the objective of defeating any charges or minimizing any impact on your personal and professional life.


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When you are faced with a legal dispute, a criminal or serious traffic charge or believe you have legal rights in any situation, Ed Tydings is ready to stand beside you as your criminal lawyer in Maryland. Mr. Tydings has over 25 years of experience in general civil litigation, criminal defense and advocacy.