According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, there’s been a large increase in the number of juveniles arrested for weapon possession in the last five years. This statistic seems to coincide with the increase in gun violence committed by and targeted at teenagers. Both mass shootings and incidents between gangs are major problems in the state.
A survey conducted by DCF tells a bit more of the story regarding teens and guns. More than 50,000 Florida students from grade 6 to 12 participated. While there was a slight increase in the number of students saying they belonged to a gang, there was a decrease in the number of teens who admitted bringing a gun to school. Local advocates believe that a lot more needs to be done to solve the problem.
Advocates believe that there may be many reasons why incidents of gun violence in schools and between teens outside of school has increased during the last decade. Surveys indicate that bullying and teasing may be part of the problem. More than half of kids said that they were taunted or teased at school and more than a quarter said they were the targets of cyberbullying.
Teenagers accused of juvenile crimes related to weapons can face serious legal consequences. Even though teens are usually treated less severely than adults, it’s important for defendants to protect their rights when facing justice. A lawyer might be able to represent a teenager in all aspects of criminal proceedings and recommend tactics that are optimal for their future. These may include entering a plea deal or going to trial. The attorney can review the client’s options so that the client and his or her parents can make an informed decision.