A 15-year-old high school student was arrested this month, accused of bringing a loaded gun onto school grounds. Schools officials were tipped off to a picture posted on social media of a student holding a gun in a school restroom, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. School officials confronted the student and then searched her locker to find the gun in a bag, the newspaper reported. The student was charged with possession of a firearm on school property. The charge in this Jacksonville Gun Crimes Case is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. Police said records show the gun had been reported stolen in Jacksonville about one week before the girl was arrested. There was no indication in media reports that the girl was accused of being involved in stealing the gun and no such charges appeared to be filed.
Because of the number of school shootings across the nation in the past two decades, police and prosecutors take gun charges on school campuses very seriously. Where it becomes complicated in these Jacksonville Gun Crimes Cases, is that most of the defendants are juveniles. Prosecutors then have to make a decision on whether to charge the teen as an adult, or whether to let the case stay in juvenile court. Defendants in these Jacksonville Gun Crimes Cases can be very young and there was an 11-year-old boy charged in a similar case this fall. Children and teens can face felony charges in juvenile court, and there are varying levels of detention and incarceration, depending on the severity of the charges the child is facing. For example, there are five different incarceration levels – though because this case involves a gun, the two least restrictive options would be off the table. Still, keeping the charge in juvenile court would be far more preferable for the defendant in any Jacksonville Juvenile Crimes Case. The juvenile court system is designed to have an educational and rehabilitative element, with the hope that one mistake will not affect a teen for the rest of his or her life.
Our Jacksonville Juvenile Crimes Attorney represents juveniles charged with all types of crimes – from misdemeanor theft charges up to serious felony gun charges. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the charges against you or your loved one, then discuss the potential consequences and next steps so you can decide how to move forward.
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 Duval County Gun Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.