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Florida teenager facing felony charges for alleged cheating

Florida high school seniors can have their share of fun before entering the real world. But, fun and games can cross the line into criminal behavior, especially when fraud is involved. For those students, real-life criminal consequences can result.

An 18-year-old high school senior in south Florida has recently been arrested after serious cheating allegations were made by his school's principal. According to school authorities, the teenager stole the principal's computer password and was using it to change grades of students at the high school. He apparently accepted money to change the grades of students.

The school's principal handed the young man over to authorities recently. As a result, the teenager was charged with eight felony counts -- four counts of modifying computer user data and four counts of intellectual property crimes for modifying a program. Following the charges, the teenager has been put on house arrest while he awaits criminal hearings. School administrators also say that he faces expulsion.

Felonies often carry significant and immediate consequences for the accused. People facing felony charges can face large fines, be sent to prison for more than one year, be sentenced to probation, and more. These charges have the potential to change the course of a person's life -- even if the person didn't understand the consequences of the individual's behavior.

When Florida residents are accused of felony crimes, they need to take the charges seriously. In some cases, there may be ways to negotiate with prosecutors in order to lower charges or penalties. In other cases, proactive defense strategies can be employed to prove a person's innocence.

Source: NBC 6, "South Florida Teen Charged After Trying to Change Grades," May 5, 2014

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