Recent statistics provided by the Massachusetts Department of Education show that from 2005-2006, 4,750 reported acts of violence occurred among middle school students. Crimes committed included robbery, sexual assault, violent threats, drug offenses, tobacco offenses, alcohol offenses, and sexual harassment. The report says that 383 weapons were discovered.
Recent crimes involving middle schools in Massachusetts:
• A student in Marlborough brought a knife to school and was suspended.
• A Tewksbury school received a bomb threat.
• A pellet gun was found at a Waltham school.
• Two knives were discovered in student lockers at another Waltham school.
Also, this week, the Boston Globe reported that 28,000 high school students in Massachusetts have been involved with gangs over the past year.
Gangs are usually a group of young adults and teenagers that take part in illegal, violent, or criminal activities. Nationally, there are over 24,500 known youth gangs with over 772,500 members.
Common reasons for joining gangs include the need to belong, make money, feel protection, experience excitement, and acquire status.
If your son or daughter has been arrested in Massachusetts for allegedly committing a crime, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows how to successfully handle juvenile crimes. A child or young adult can get easily intimated when being questioned by police or other law enforcement officials. Your son or daughter may even be pressured into giving incriminating testimony that can be used to his or her disadvantage. It is important to remember that your child has the right to remain silent and be properly represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney that is looking out for his or her best interests. This is why you should speak with a defense lawyer that offers juvenile defense right way.
Some of the many crimes that juveniles can be arrested for:
• Assault and battery • Vandalism • Trespassing • Making threats • Drunk driving • Other motor vehicle offenses • Rape • Sexual assault and battery • Prostitution
• Indecent exposure • Lewd behavior • Weapons possessions • Breaking and entering • Robbery • Shoplifting • Drug possession • Distribution of a controlled substance • Hate crimes • Disorderly conduct • Disturbing the peace • Stalking • Perjury • Resisting arrest
Being charged with or convicted for committing a crime can be a very traumatic experience for a juvenile and can affect the rest of his or her life.
Gang violence still an issue in Boston and local cities, Tuftsdaily.com, October 3, 2007
Spike in violence in middle schools raises concerns, Boston.com, October 2, 2007
Youth Gangs, National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center
Juvenile cases in Massachusetts are generally heard at Juvenile Court. The juvenile court system has its own set of rules and punishments. There are cases, however, when-due to the serious nature of the crime-a juvenile can be tried as an adult in adult court. If your son or daughter has been charged with committing a particularly serious crime, a good criminal defense lawyer can work hard to keep the case in juvenile court.
At Altman & Altman LLP, our criminal defense attorneys have more than 50 years experience representing juveniles and adults throughout Massachusetts in all areas of criminal law. We are ready to help you. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today and ask for your free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers.