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Criminal charges against teens are no joke

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that young people make mistakes. They don't have the maturity to understand the long-term consequences of actions, and they are often quite willing to take risks and test boundaries. In many cases, these characteristics lead to little more than some embarrassing mistakes.

In other cases, however, they lead to seriously bad decisions that get them in trouble with the law. 

For instance, recently two Ohio teens were caught up in a serious situation involving threats, Snapchat and a bad attempt at a joke.

According to reports, a picture of a teen boy holding a gun was sent to police. It had a caption saying "Did someone say mass shooting," and had been posted on Snapchat, a popular social media app among teens.

Not surprisingly, police took the situation very seriously and questioned the boy in the photo. However, they discovered that he had no knowledge of it. They found that a girl had posted the picture and made up the caption as "a joke," she told police. She wound up being detained and charged with menacing.

This is just one example of the types of mistakes teens make because they don't appreciate the fact that their actions have consequences in the real world. They are still developing their sense of right and wrong and oftentimes, they do things out of misguided attempts at humor, fear or peer pressure rather than an intent to cause actual harm.

To make matters worse for young people, things like phones, social media and other technology make it easier to get caught for bad behavior and harder for evidence of the mistake to go away.

With all this in mind, it can be crucial for parents to take action to protect their kids from unnecessarily harsh penalties if they are accused of a violence offense. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, young people can learn from their mistakes without having to pay for them for the rest of their lives.

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Edward R. La Rue
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