High School Senior Conducts Experiment, Resulting In Expulsion And Criminal Charges
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 5 , 2013 – There are times when upholding the law may include apparently overly stringent applications of the law. That is the impression of one Lakeland criminal defense lawyer.
“Polk County’s Bartow High School had a bit of excitement recently involving an explosion as the result of a female student mixing toilet bowl cleaner and aluminium foil in a plastic bottle. The bottle top flew off, the container smoked and then exploded. It was a small explosion,” said Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense lawyer. The student, who decided to conduct a science experiment on the school’s front lawn, discovered she was to be charged as an adult for the crime of causing a minor explosion and would be facing a Florida Assistant State Attorney (ASA).
The assistant principal called 911 after observing the explosion, and summoned the school resource officer, who promptly took the young teen to the ASA, where she was charged with two felonies. The school expelled her for being in violation of the school’s code of conduct, despite her spotless student record. The school adheres to a zero-tolerance credo, and would not consider more lenient punishment. Instead, the young teen was told she could face a criminal record for the accidental explosion.
“It is clear that this young lady could have used a good criminal defense lawyer, one to work to bring common sense to the situation. There are so many defenses available, that this case would stand a good chance of being dismissed, rather than giving a young teen a life long criminal record for what amounts to youthful curiosity about a science experiment,” remarked Grajek. Kids make mistakes, Grajek said. Not all mistakes should be criminalized.
Statistics released by the Florida department of juvenile justice indicate the state arrests at least ten juvenile delinquents for every 1,000 students a year. Polk County has the dubious distinction of arresting more than twice the average number of students per year —- or 21 per 1,000 each year.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
View Larger Map
- Some Sex Crimes, Such as Sexting, Do Not Always Involve Force
By definition, a sex crime is committed using threat or force to coerce someone into performing an unwanted sexual act. State governments usually prosecute these types of crimes. Should the commission of such an offense occur in two different states, it is usually the federal government that prosecutes. Penalties are more severe if the crime is classified as a felony. Those convicted of a sex crime could face decades in prison. In extreme cases, perpetrators may be chemically castrated. Being charged with a sex crime is a grave matter, one that requires the services of a criminal defense attorney. Sex […]
- What Does the Crime of Involuntary Manslaughter Involve?
Involuntary manslaughter can defined in several different ways, depending on the circumstances of a case. While involuntary manslaughter may, of course, be involuntary, it may also include a deliberate act. In some situations resulting in a death, the death was an accident or a caused by a careless individual. However, even in circumstances where a deliberate act caused a death, the charge of involuntary manslaughter may still apply. Involuntary manslaughter may be the end result of a failure to carry out a legal duty specifically required to protect a human life or from the commission of an illegal act that […]
- Marijuana Possession, Use and Sale Remain Federally Illegal, Though Enforcement Is Spotty
Each state has its own marijuana laws. If you are arrested, you need to know which laws are applicable to your case. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize, regulate and tax recreational possession of cannabis. The laws in those states permit a person 21 years of age to buy up to one ounce of the drug at authorized storefronts. These existing laws are close cousins to laws regulating the use of alcohol and nicotine: smokers may not smoke in public, employees may not work under the influence and states may have blood test limits […]