When a child or teen commits a crime, many people assume that they will not face serious consequences due to their young age. However, in our state, juvenile crime is taken very seriously by both school and state officials. A young person could face a juvenile criminal offense with severe consequences that affect them well into adulthood.
For example, a middle school student was recently charged with a Class 3 felony after an incident involving a teacher at the school. The female student was accused of pouring an unknown substance into her teacher’s coffee cup. The teacher noticed something in her cup and reported the student to administration officials. Police were called to the scene as a result. The substance was sent to a lab, and the girl was charged with attempted poisoning.
Under Virginia Code, Section 18.2-54.1, any person who attempts to poison someone or administers poison to someone with the intent to injure or kill them could be guilty of a Class 3 felony. A Class 3 felony conviction in the state of Virginia may result in anywhere from five to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, according to Virginia Code, Section 18.2-10.
As with most criminal charges, a key part of proving guilt is establishing intent to cause harm. A criminal defense attorney can defend this student against these charges by focusing on establishing a lack of intent. In other words, if the student did not intend to harm her teacher, she may be found not guilty of these charges.