MINNESOTA JUVENILE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Having a pocket knife is a useful tool. For some teens, getting a pocket knife of their own may be something of a rite of passage. They can use it during hunting season or as a tool for a variety of outdoor tasks. However, even if you present your child with a pocket knife, it needs to be very clear that it never goes to the school yard, especially in this day and age of rampant school violence. These days, if your child gets caught with a pocket knife in their possession, it may be more than just a slap on wrist.
POSSESSION VERSUS ASSAULT
Every parent hopes to never receive a call from their child’s school saying that they were caught with a weapon. However, possessing a knife and using one are two very different issues that come with different legal implications. If a child is caught in possession of a knife, these days most schools will call local law enforcement. Once this happens, they will likely be charged with possession of a weapon.
Juvenile-level possession of a weapon is not the end of a young person’s life, however. You will still want a lawyer to represent your child, but often punishments for this crime will be rehabilitative in nature rather than punitive like adult punishments would be. As the weapon was not used, punishments will be kept to a minimum and primarily only issued to teach your child not to do it again.
Assault in school using a pocket knife, however, is a very different beast. Cutting another person and breaking the skin, but not causing serious injury will be an assault charge. However, the more damage that a knife does, the more likely a charge will be elevated. If the other party was seriously hurt or even killed, the charge will be elevated to aggravated assault. If this is a the case, it is very likely your child will be charged as an adult.
If the courts deem that your child is to be charged as an adult, their defense needs to be swift and aggressive. Aggravated assault charges, faced as an adult, will mean incarceration in adult prison. Not only may you worry about your child’s safety in such a place, this is a criminal charge that will fully derail your child’s future for many years if not forever. Unfortunately, even if you are successful in your legal defense, it is well within a school’s rights to expel your child. However, between incarceration and expulsion, it is always better to focus your efforts on keeping your child out of jail.
NEED HELP? CONTACT JENNIFER SPEAS TODAY!
With the help of a lawyer, your juvenile child will have a variety of defenses at their disposal if they brought a knife to school. It could be argued that there was a lack of intent to do harm, such as is the case if they forgot to remove the knife from a jacket after a camping trip. If a violent incident did occur, remorse can often be a mitigating factor. Furthermore, if a history of progressively violent bullying can be presented, it can go a long way to help keep your child out of adult prison.
If your child has been involved in a violent outburst with a knife at school or simply just brought a knife to school for whatever reason, they will be facing criminal charges and we can help. Juvenile charges are often not life-ruining in their punishments, but your don’t want your child to be shouldered with an unfair legal system that wants to make an example of them. Contact us today to see how the Speas Law Firm can help you.