When you're Dating Someone Who is Breaking the Law

Increasing anonymity is one of the hallmarks of modern society – unlike in a close-knit community where young men and women grow up as neighbors, churchgoers or classmates, in today’s world how much really do you know of the man or woman you get chatting with at a coffee shop? So it is not an impossible scenario where you find that the charming man or attractive woman you have been dating is actually on the wrong side of the law in some way – if so, here are a few things to keep in mind.

How serious is the situation

Since the judicial system has laws to cover every aspect of human life and civic existence, there is an extreme range on the seriousness of offenses and their punishment. On one hand a person can be breaking the law if he/she is merely downloading music and movies or driving above the speed limit; on the other hand of course there are horrific crimes like dealing drugs, sexual violence, murder and terrorism. Then again there is an entire spectrum of white collar crime, usually to do with embezzlement and con, which do not seem as awful as rape and murder but which can invite serious penalties and jail time nonetheless. if common sense implies that your partner is guilty of lighter crimes, then maybe you can point out the transgression a couple of time and trust hi/her better sense to take over. On the other hand if you find that your date is thieving, sexually abusing, dealing drugs or guilty of some other crime of this magnitude, it may be better for you to take a second look at your relationship.

If your partner is rather young, his/her tendency to break the law could be a cry for attention or even help. Young people who break the law usually commit small crimes to test the rules or to take risks. Most young people who have been caught breaking the law once, never do it again. If your partner is breaking the law often, perhaps he/she experienced abuse or trauma while growing up or feel they have no skills and that life is hopeless. If you honestly believe that this is the case with your partner, take recourse to community services available to help young people who are experiencing problems. Your local council, migrant resource centre, or community health centre can give you information about support services for young people in your area – these could range from mental health services, drug and alcohol treatment centres, intellectual disability services,  sexual assault services to training and employment programs, youth support services and mentoring programs.

At the same time though beware of the tendency to get caught up in a co-dependent relationship with a law breaker. If you are struggling with serious emotional or psychological issues yourself, then it may be easier for you to get sucked into a co-dependent relationship with someone who enjoys taking negative risks and is attracted to destructive behaviour. Very often a one-sided relationship can be traced to a sense of control that the codependent partner glories in. Since your partner plays the out-of-control person, you as the codependent partner gets to be the person who is in control and thus is respected. perhaps you feel satisfied in the illusion of being thought of as the better person, the smarter person, above all as the person who is holding it all together. But this feeling of being in control is actually a mirage. Instead allow your partner to be responsible for their own words and. Recognize the fact that it is not your job to feel responsible for your partner and instead bring back the focus on yourself by getting a job, taking a course or even something as simple as joining a hobby club or leaving for a long awaited vacation.

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Confront your partner

if you have ample proof about any wrong doing that your partner is indulging in, The most important thing to do is to ask your partner what this is all about. Let him/her give you his/her side of the story and listen patiently as he/she speaks. If you have already dated several times, your partner should have come clean from the very start and you are perfectly within your rights to know why he/she didn’t about what is going on. You may also wish to speak to his/her counselor if he/she has been asked by law to go for sessions or his parole officer if he was convicted any time in the past. You can even ask for access to police files or his/her written confession to the police to get a clearer view of the picture. And once you heard from the important professionals involved in the case, it may be time for you to take a call.

Your legal liability

The most important reason why you should be wary of dating a person habitually breaking the law is that as his/her partner you can get legally implicated in the crime – often unknowingly. Your partner may ask to take your car or use your apartment for illegal purposes when you have no idea what he/she is up to. Even simple things like your law breaking partner using your computer or your credit card can land you as an accessory to the crime. Law enforcement officials are rarely concerned with whether you knew about your partner’s intentions or you were being duped just like everyone else – all they are bothered with is tangible proof that your possessions or premises were used in breaking the law.

Finally you can never tell where one crime ends and another starts. Your wild card of a boyfriend may claim that he speeds and vandalizes other’s property only when he is drunk but who is to say that tomorrow he won’t hurt you or your kids in a drunken rage. Like alcohol-related offenses can easily segue into sexual violence, so too seemingly harmless misdeeds like cheating and con can lead to large-scale financial embezzlement, blackmail and even murder – all criminal offenses which carry long prison sentences. for all these reasons it is best to stay on your guard while dating someone who is breaking the law – if he/she does not give any sign of giving up his/her wayward ways, it is in your interest to move on to safer relationships.