By Kortney Daly
A thirteen year old child was arrested in Volusia county for multiple charges. It is alleged that he posted on social media that he was going to shoot up the school. The Child sent out a snapchat to a group of people with a gun to a child’s head with a caption that said “I got 32 rounds for u.”
The article is not clear as to the exact charges the child is facing, and it is not accessible to the public on the clerk of court website because juvenile cases are always private. The Child is most likely charged with “written threats to kill.” This charge has become all too common with juveniles. It is a second degree felony and punishable up to fifteen years in prison if they were to be charged as adults. Most of the kids that I have represented on this charge told me that they were joking. What a lot of kids fail to understand, is there have been so many school shootings over the last decade. Schools have had to be more vigilant and proactive to keep the students safe. Even the smallest joke could get these kids in trouble if it can be construed as a threat.
The most concerning aspect of this story is that law enforcement found firearms and ammunition in the house. it’s clear that the child had access to the firearms given the allegation that he took a picture with a firearm. It is really difficult for the general public and prosecutors to believe a child is joking when they find evidence that a child made these threats and had access to the tools to carry them out. Even if the firearms did not belong to the child, but an adult in the home.
It is really important for parents to educate their children on safe use of social media and warn them about posting “jokes” that threaten acts of violence. I would not be surprised to find out that this child has never been in trouble before. The sad part is, many state attorneys are unwilling to let this type of thing go and they will not allow the child to participate in a diversion program. The children end up with juvenile records when they commit this crime. I have represented children as young as 11 on this charge and some counties in this state that will never allow for diversion on this charge, no matter the age of the child.
If you or a family member find yourself charged with a crime, do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers of The Smith and Eulo law firm at 352-WIN-4YOU for your FREE consultation.