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Girl, 12, faces criminal allegations after fight at school

In Manassas, throughout Virginia and anywhere across the nation, children will get into disagreements with other children. This can happen at school, in the park or anywhere where they are together. Frequently, even a dispute that gets physical will not result in any injuries and there is no need to call law enforcement to investigate the incident and perhaps make an arrest. However, some incidents are serious enough that there will be an allegation of assault.

According to recent news reports, an altercation between two girls led to an arrest. The incident happened in the afternoon on the grounds of their middle school. It was around 2:30 p.m. when law enforcement investigated. The two girls were in an argument that grew worse until one struck the other and grabbed her neck. The other girl's ability to breathe was hindered. The fight was stopped and a resource officer at the school was contacted. The girl who allegedly assaulted the other was arrested and faces charges for strangulation. It is a juvenile offense.

There are many differences between juvenile court and adult court. In general, except for the worst crimes, juvenile penalties are not as harsh and there are alternatives to avoid long-term consequences. Perhaps treatment is an option instead of tougher penalties. It might simply have been a fight between children that escalated with a mistake leading to an arrest. Juvenile crimes can impact a child's life in myriad ways and hinder them in the short and long term. Defending against the allegations is key to the future.

It is a mistake to think that an arrest for assault and similar charges is unimportant just because the allegations are against a child, even one 12-years-old or younger. The juvenile criminal justice system can be complex and getting the right information about criminal defense options is crucial.

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Boyce, Leahy & Francescon, Lawyers
9300 Grant Avenue, Suite 200
Manassas, VA 20110

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