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Tainting teachers' smoothies -- criminal mischief or not?

Teachers at a middle school in Florida have had two incidents in which students poured chemical substances into their smoothies. The three students that were allegedly involved have been suspended, and their enrollments at the school have been canceled. Authorities are still figuring out whether these were acts of criminal mischief or more serious juvenile crimes.

The first incident occurred in October when two teenage girls laced a teacher's smoothie with a chemical cleaner. The teacher says she noticed the beverage had bubbles, and she smelled the ammonia odor of the chemical and became ill shortly afterward. The girls were placed in a juvenile detention center in November after they admitted to pouring the substance into the smoothie to get some laughs and make the teacher sick.

In the second incident in November, a 14-year-old boy was also turned over to the juvenile detention center after he boasted about adding hand sanitizer to a teacher's smoothie, but he claims to have had no intention to cause her harm. After denying the allegations at first, he apparently later admitted to the act. He was arrested for tampering with consumer products and poisoning food, but he was released due to a lack of evidence.

Florida parents of children who are accused of juvenile crimes of any nature may be unsure of the most appropriate steps to take. Nobody wants his or her children to have a criminal record that can adversely impact their future due to a bit of criminal mischief. The most logical step would be to secure the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who might be able to prevent a conviction or, at least, mitigate any potential consequences.

Source: floridatoday.com, "Police: Students tainted teachers' smoothies at Melbourne school", J.D. Gallop, Dec. 18, 2017

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