Shawnee High School, in Medford, New Jersey, was evacuated mid-morning one day in November due to concerns about a bomb threat. An online post alleged that there was a device located in a bathroom at the school. K-9 investigation determined that the school was safe and allowed students to return to the school. An investigation uncovered a juvenile suspect who was subsequently "charged on a juvenile summons complaint with terroristic threats." Since then, the suspect has been released into his parent's custody.
Situations such as these, while simple on the surface, can actually be much more complex if you dive deeper. Let's take a closer look by breaking it down.
Criminal Defense for Terroristic Charges
Terroristic threats in New Jersey are considered 2nd or 3rd-degree offenses, based on the specific circumstances. Subsequently, incarceration is a potential penalty, with a maximum term for juveniles of 2-3 years, depending on the degree of the offense. Punishments for first-time juvenile offenders could also include community service, probation, or parental supervision. In some instances, it might also look like entry into a juvenile detention center.
After receiving the charge of terroristic threats, the juvenile, in this case, will most likely have a hearing to attend. At the hearing, a judge will determine whether or not delinquency exists. What does that mean? It means that the court evaluates whether or not the juvenile would be found guilty of the offense if they were an adult.
Other Potential Concerns: School Misconduct
It is possible to have criminal defense charges reduced—or even dropped—and still face significant long-term consequences in a case such as this. As a juvenile student, the individual charged is on the hook not just for legal ramifications but also for potential repercussions at their high school. This could hold true in similar instances at the collegiate level as well.
As a student suspect in a bomb scare, your school has the ability to decide how to address the behavior. This could look like a suspension, probation, expulsion, or more. Sanctions such as these can impact a student's future academic career and beyond.
Best New Jersey Attorney for Your Student and Criminal Defense Needs
If you or your loved one are facing criminal charges and are a student, the legal assistance you choose can have a gigantic ripple effect. Some lawyers specialize in criminal defense, while others focus on education. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are uniquely poised to assist you in navigating the entirety of your situation. They have worked not only with students in New Jersey but with thousands of students across the nation to protect their future and have helped countless individuals in New Jersey. Contact them today with your questions by calling 888.535.3686 or reaching out online.