Schools in Washington typically take threats of violence seriously regardless of intent. This means that a teenager’s poor idea of a joke will likely be treated as a serious criminal matter, even if he or she only briefly made a poor decision. A teenager in Washington was recently taken into police custody after he allegedly threatened the safety of other students at his school. This led to at least one criminal charge.
A quick arrest
On Oct. 24, a 16-year-old high school boy allegedly communicated threats toward students who also attend his school. Multiple residents of his community apparently came forward soon after, alerting police to the potential for harm. The timeline of what occurred went as follows:
- Threats were made on Sunday evening
- Security at the school was increased on Monday and Tuesday
- The teen was arrested on Tuesday afternoon
- School resumed as normal on Wednesday
Despite his arrest, it does not appear as if police believe that the threats he made were credible. Washington authorities have since charged him with falsely making a terrorist threat. This is a class I felony charge that potentially carries serious criminal penalties.
Teenagers have their whole lives ahead of them, and all it takes is one brush with the law to alter their path in life. How a teenage offender and his or her parents choose to handle a serious criminal charge like this can help limit the future impact, though. Taking a proactive approach to criminal defense planning that focuses on minimizing potential criminal and personal impact is essential, and it can be made easier under the guidance of an attorney who is knowledgeable in the applicable Washington laws.