The February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School horrified our nation. An alarming trend that followed was a spike in school shooting threats. Schools in states like Texas and Florida received hundreds of threats of gun- and bomb-related violence. Most of the threats were either false reports or were made by people who had no intention of carrying them out.
It does not matter whether the person making the threat intended to follow through. Law enforcement officials take all threats against schools seriously. Making violent threats of this nature is a felony in Florida. If you or your child have been arrested for school shooting threats, it is important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will offer you or your child the personalized care you need to ensure the best possible outcome. The first step is to contact us for a free initial consultation.
Call (561) 557-8686 or submit an online form. A member of our team will review your case and advise how to proceed. When you’re up against second-degree felony charges, you need a proven fighter familiar with the intricacies of Florida law. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents clients in West Palm Beach, including Boynton Beach, Palm Springs, Lantana, and communities across Palm Beach County. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today to get started.
American schoolchildren spend an average of 180 days a year at school. According to a 2011 report by the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics, at least 25% of children report they’ve been bullied. Some bullying victims internalize their rage because they are not equipped with healthy coping skills. In some cases, that rage spills out in the form of terroristic threats against school employees and classmates.
Sometimes anger and vengeance aren’t motivating factors. Countless students have been arrested for making jokes about shooting classmates. Law enforcement officials have a zero-tolerance policy for these misguided attempts at humor. Even if you didn’t have a gun or intend to commit an act of violence, you still face criminal charges. A competent defense attorney can greatly increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Most kids who make terroristic threats don’t realize the gravity of their actions. It can be difficult to tell which threats are legitimate and which are jokes or false reports. Florida police treat every threat as credible.
Florida law was updated in 2018 to accommodate an increasing number of school violence threats being made over social media. Under Florida Statute 836.10, it is a second-degree felony to threaten a mass shooting or an act of terrorism in such a way another person is able to see the threat. Penalties include up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Under Florida Statute 790.163, it’s illegal to make false reports about planting a bomb or using firearms in a violent manner. Threats of violence are treated equally regardless of their authenticity. Even making a false report of a bomb threat or shooting at a school will result in a second-degree felony charge.
Penalties for school violence hoaxes mirror those for threats of committing a school shooting. Violators of this law face up 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted. A person who is found guilty of making a bomb threat may also be required to pay restitution to law enforcement.
University Student Charged with Making School Threat | Volusia Sheriff – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office published a May 2018 news article about the arrest of a University High School student. The student joked to a classmate he was going to “shoot up the school.” This article highlights how seriously Florida law enforcement officials take school violence threats – even when the statements are made in jest.
States of Concern | Educator's School Safety Network – The Educator’s School Safety Network is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and training to increase school safety. Visit this website to read a report containing statistics about school threats and violence during the 2017-2018 school year. You can also view a statistical comparison between the current and previous years.
When your child is facing felony charges, their future is on the line. You need a well-trained attorney who has experience representing clients accused of making school violence-related threats. The accomplished criminal defense lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have successfully handled countless school shooting cases. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to learn how we can help you.
Call us today at (561) 557-8686 or fill out our online form. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents Floridians in Boca Raton, Riviera Beach, South Bay, and other communities across Palm Beach County. There is no better time to start preparing your defense. Schedule your consultation now.