The Duval County School Board is using the criminal justice system to force parents to send their children to school and a batch of dozens of warrants was issued last week. Police arrested 18 parents and were looking for 26 more, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The parents were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and with failure to comply with school attendance laws, the newspaper reported. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in the county jail. The failure to comply with school attendance laws charge is a second-degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in the county jail.
Police said they chose these parents because they were 44 cases with the highest absentees rates in the county, and the data used covered more than just the current school year. The legal system is supposed to be the very last resort in school attendance cases and school officials say they tried to work with the parents but to no avail, the newspaper reported. But when they do go to the legal system, police, prosecutors and all involved make it a point to go as public as they could with it – trying to use these Jacksonville Misdemeanor Cases to set an example for other parents. And chances are it will work.
Police and prosecutors often try to make headlines to make people aware of the consequences for actions for some seemingly minor crimes, including selling alcohol to minors or hosting an open house party where underage teens are drinking alcohol.
In most of these Jacksonville Misdemeanor Cases, parents do not end up receiving significant, if any jail time. But the shaming of the headlines and the potential of a person losing his or her job because of an arrest like this could be enough for people to think twice. These Jacksonville Misdemeanor Cases on truancy charges are an example of a crime where parents can be held accountable for the actions of the children they are responsible for. Proving how much the parents knew beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury could be challenging, but the overall point of these types of arrests is more about changing behavior than putting people behind bars. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney has represented thousands of people charged with misdemeanors and knows there’s no such thing as a minor crime when you or a loved one is the one accused.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Misdemeanor Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.