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Weapons charges on school grounds

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Weapons Charges |

Students could make mistakes at school that lead them into disciplinary proceedings. Sometimes, a young person’s mistake is so serious that they might face criminal charges. A violation of Florida laws may result in felony charges against a student who brings a firearm or another weapon to school. A felony conviction could result in a permanent criminal record and all the concerns that it brings.

Weapons possession on school grounds

In Florida, possessing a weapon on school grounds is a third-degree felony, and the statute names several types of weapons. Besides firearms, stun guns, bladed weapons, and destructive devices all violate the statute.

School administrators and law enforcement personnel likely worry about violent incidents happening on school grounds and elsewhere. So, strict rules about possessing weapons could discourage a young person from bringing a weapon to class. Of course, the law applies to others as well, and not only students may face charges of possessing a deadly weapon on school property.

Mistakes and felony charges

A young person might not realize how strict laws regarding weapons possession are. A student could bring a pocket knife to school, not realizing that the act may lead to an arrest and subsequent weapons charges. A conviction on a third-degree felony comes with a maximum prison sentence of five years, indicating how serious the charges are.

People of course have a constitutional right to defend against the state’s charges. A defense could point out a student had no idea a firearm was in their school bag, which might hurt the prosecution’s case. Charges might not have merit when someone who doesn’t know they possess a weapon in their car or belongings.

A case could be more cut-and-dry, possibly requiring a different approach. First-offenders and those who did not commit additional violent crimes could ask for reduced sentences as part of a plea bargain.