Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 5 , 2013 — There are times when upholding the law may include apparently overly stringent applications of the law. That is the impression of one Lakeland criminal defense lawyer.
“Polk County’s Bartow High School had a bit of excitement recently involving an explosion as the result of a female student mixing toilet bowl cleaner and aluminium foil in a plastic bottle. The bottle top flew off, the container smoked and then exploded. It was a small explosion,” said Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense lawyer. The student, who decided to conduct a science experiment on the school’s front lawn, discovered she was to be charged as an adult for the crime of causing a minor explosion and would be facing a Florida Assistant State Attorney (ASA).
The assistant principal called 911 after observing the explosion, and summoned the school resource officer, who promptly took the young teen to the ASA, where she was charged with two felonies. The school expelled her for being in violation of the school’s code of conduct, despite her spotless student record. The school adheres to a zero-tolerance credo, and would not consider more lenient punishment. Instead, the young teen was told she could face a criminal record for the accidental explosion.
“It is clear that this young lady could have used a good criminal defense lawyer, one to work to bring common sense to the situation. There are so many defenses available, that this case would stand a good chance of being dismissed, rather than giving a young teen a life long criminal record for what amounts to youthful curiosity about a science experiment,” remarked Grajek. Kids make mistakes, Grajek said. Not all mistakes should be criminalized.
Statistics released by the Florida department of juvenile justice indicate the state arrests at least ten juvenile delinquents for every 1,000 students a year. Polk County has the dubious distinction of arresting more than twice the average number of students per year —- or 21 per 1,000 each year.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
- New license suspension rules effective July 1 for those arrested for DUI in Polk County and Florida. Should you request a Formal Review?
You only have 10 days to request a “Formal Review” to challenge the administrative suspension of your driver’s license for blowing over 0.08 on the breath test machine or refusing the breath test. The Florida legislature has now changed the law that can dramatically affect your ability to drive! Now, you can AUTOMATICALLY obtain a hardship license for the ENTIRE period of suspension. What does a person arrested for DUI give up for this benefit? The driver MUST WAIVE their right to a Formal Review. That means the DUI license suspension will appear on your license. That means you have […]
- Starting July 1, 2013, Florida adopts the "Daubert" test for expert witness testimony replacing the "Frye" test. How will that affect your criminal case?
The Florida legislature has adopted a new standard for the admission of expert witness testimony in Florida criminal and civil cases. In the past, Florida courts have used the Frye standard which allowed an expert to testify if the expert opinion was based on a scientific technique that is generally accepted as reliable in the relevant scientific community. The Frye “generally accepted” standard is being replaced by the “Daubert” standard which comes from the United States Supreme Court case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The Daubert rule has been codified in Federal Rule 702 “TESTIMONY BY […]
- Florida expected to make juveniles and parents responsible for damages in commission of a crime
While a contentious issue, Florida is expected to make juveniles and their parents responsible for damages incurred during the commission of a crime. Florida is taking a tougher approach to juvenile crime by fostering a bill that would make it mandatory for children and their parents or guardians to pay out for damages caused by juveniles who committed a crime. The major thrust of the bill is to make parents in the Sunshine State shoulder more of the responsibility for their children’s actions. The House Bill, Bill 0785, would wipe out provisions excusing parents from their children’s offense, in some […]