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Florida teen goes to jail for prank turned felony charge

A Florida high school student was arrested this week after allegedly spiking his teacher's soft drink with hand sanitizer, according to local reports. The 15-year-old student is known as a prankster around the school and according to administrators was playing a practical joke on the teacher. Police saw the situation differently and arrested the student, charging him with a first degree felony for the incident. He was booked into the local jail immediately following his arrest.

It is not clear if the teen knew that the sanitizer could be harmful to his teacher's health or if he believed it would simply taste bad or cause some drunkenness. Teenagers around the country have taken up the unfortunate fad of drinking these types of hand sanitizers to become intoxicated. Unfortunately these products are not only not meant for consumption, but they can cause memory loss, internal organ damage, and other harmful and painful symptoms. In this case the teacher did go to a local hospital but is not reported to have sustained any serious injuries.

At the same time, a first degree felony conviction would be no laughing matter either. The 15-year-old high school student faces time behind bars as well as fines. Being convicted of a felony as a young person can have lasting consequences such as difficulty finding a job or obtaining housing. Felony convictions also impact the availability of federal financial aid for college. He also faces expulsion from his school pending an upcoming hearing that is not dependent on the results of his criminal proceeding. These types of consequences might seem harsh for a practical joke, and that is why it is important for the student to defend his rights and defend himself against the assertion that he committed a felony.

Source: New York Daily News, "Florida teen goes to jail after spiking teacher's soda with hand sanitizer," Deborah Hastings, March 13, 2014.

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