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Prank phone call results in misdemeanor charges

Misdemeanor charges can result in serious consequences for those accused. Florida residents should be aware of the long-term effects that a misdemeanor can result in. Penalties for misdemeanors include probation, jail time, fines and more.

In an unusual case, a 12-year-old Florida boy has been charged with two misdemeanors following a prank phone call. According to police, the boy called 911 and claimed that a shooting had taken place at a local high school. During the phone call with rescuers, police allege that the boy said there was blood all over the school. Police say he also claimed to be hiding in the bathroom and used a fake name during the phone call.

However, when police investigated the allegations, police claim that no evidence of any shooting was found. Instead, officials allege that the boy -- a middle school student -- had made up the whole incident. Following these allegations, the boy has been charged with disruption of an educational institution and misuse of 911 which are both misdemeanor charges. The boy is currently in custody.

Even behavior that may seem harmless and funny can become a life-long problem for those accused of misdemeanors. No matter what the person's original intention was, without the right help, the penalties can follow a person for years to come.

Criminal defense strategies often exist that can help reduce the charges and potential punishments. In some cases, police evidence can be challenged which can lead to dropped charges. In other situations, those facing misdemeanor charges can negotiate with prosecutors and plead guilty to lesser charges.

Source: FCN, "911 call released in Lake Mary High School shooting hoax," Feb. 22, 2014

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