Threats & Criminal Charges Increase After Florida School Shooting
In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting where 17 people were killed, several schools in Ohio have also received threats of violence. You may be wondering what kind of criminal charges can arise from school threats. Among other serious crimes, making terroristic threats and inducing panic in schools and other places are considered felonies and can hold severe consequences. To learn more about the penalties related to school threats, continue reading below.
If your son or daughter has been accused of a school-related offense or you have questions about a current criminal case, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 right away to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced and aggressive Cleveland criminal defense attorney.
Criminal Charges That Arise From School Shooting Threats
There are multiple types of charges when it comes to school shooting threats, including:
- Making Terroristic Threats – Terroristic threats are defined as a threat made to intimidate or coerce people or to influence the conduct of a government agency. These types of threats are considered an offense, even if there is no intention to carry out the threat. However, Ohio Revised Code 2909.23 states that a threat is considered terroristic if there is a “reasonable expectation or fear” of the threatened offense. Making a terroristic threat is a third-degree felony and if conviction, it may result in nine months to three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Inducing Panic – Inducing panic may be charged when an individual causes the evacuation of a public place or a public inconvenience through a threat of fire, explosion, crime or other catastrophe, or committing an offense that disregards potential public inconvenience or alarm. Inducing Panic in a school is a second-degree felony and if convicted, you may face a prison sentence of two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 for adults. If you are a juvenile at the time of your conviction, it can lead to detention or imprisonment until the age of 21.
- Intimidation – According to Ohio Revised Code 2921.03, intimidation is defined as threatening to harm a person or a property to influence another person(s). Intimidation, a third-degree felony, may subject you to nine months to three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Recent School Threats in Ohio
On Friday, February 23, 2018, at least 17 schools in Ohio were shut down due to threats. Some of the schools that were closed due to verbal and online threats include:
- Licking Heights Local Schools
- Lancaster High School
- Logan Hocking School District (all seven schools were shut down)
- Lakewood Local School District
- The Graham School
- Fairfield Union Elementary Schools (two schools were shut down)
- Westerville South High School
Several students have been arrested due to these threats, and there has been an increased police presence in schools to protect students.
High School Students Walk Out of School in Solidarity
There have been several schools in Ohio where students have participated in school walk-outs to protest gun laws and stand in solidarity with Parkland. The students at Upper Arlington participated in a walkout last week. Other schools that plan to participate include:
- Westlake High School
- Mentor High School
- Lakewood High School
It is not just students that are walking out. Many teachers and school officials are also taking part to show their support. Reportedly, a larger walkout is scheduled to take place on March 14, 2018.
How a Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
School threats are a serious matter, and they are not taken lightly. With the recent violence in schools, any threat or even a hint of a threat is being taken seriously by law enforcement and schools. The resulting criminal charges can result in severe penalties and collateral consequences that last into adulthood.
If your child has been charged with a crime in relation to making a school threat, call a knowledgeable attorney at The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC to schedule a free case evaluation today at (216) 533-9533.