A private school teacher in St. Johns County will lose his job for bringing a gun onto the school campus, but will not face any criminal charges for the incident. The teacher was escorted off of campus and was placed on administrative leave before he chose to resign, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The teacher, who has a concealed weapons permit, did not threaten anyone and never pulled out the gun, the newspaper reported. Police and the school were alerted by an anonymous tip, the newspaper reported.
Carrying a firearm on a school campus can be a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison. In this St. Johns County Gun Crimes Case, the school did not want to pursue criminal charges in the case against the teacher. Police took the school’s opinion into consideration and did not arrest the teacher or send the case to prosecutors for review. Part of the decision in not to pursue the charges was that the man did not have any intention of hurting anyone and no students in the school were ever in danger, the newspaper reported.
But that is not always the case in St. Johns County Gun Crimes Cases. There is a common misperception that if a victim in a case does not want to pursue charges, then police and the state cannot move forward. That is not true. For example, if someone reports a lawnmower or other item stolen and police find it at a pawn shop and then learn his neighbor pawned it, it may not matter if the person wants to pursue the charges or not. If police can prove that the person took it and then sold it, they could still pursue the charges. Prosecutors will listen to the victim and in many cases not proceed with a minor case if the person is refusing to cooperate, but the victims are not the ones making decisions – that is the role of the State Attorney’s Office. The same goes the other way, if a victim wants to push a case and the state knows it cannot prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt, the state has an obligation to drop the charges.
Our St. Johns County Gun Crimes Attorney will thoroughly investigate any charges against you or your loved one and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision going 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 St. Johns County Gun Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.