Florida Juvenile Hazing Laws

There are many criminal offenses that are most often committed by juveniles, those under the age of 18. Hazing is a crime that is often done to others for mental and physical harassment. It is often linked with the initiation into a social group or organization. Under Florida law, most hazing by college students is left to the disciplinary actions of the university administration. When it comes to hazing situations that lead to criminal prosecution, the offense will be charged under general state laws.

Chad Meredith Act

A bill was created that has added hazing as a criminal offense that is generally performed on the high school or college level. The reason is related to the death of Chad Meredith, a student from a Florida university who was a victim of a hazing incident. If the act of hazing has created risk of injury or death, it can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor. If the hazing resulted in bodily injury or death, the offense will be charged as a third degree felony or higher. One of the penalties is the completion of a hazing education course along with other repercussions.

Legal Assistance from a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney

As Tampa criminal defense attorneys, we can help build a strong defense to your case. This is a complex situation to handle, especially without the legal defense of an attorney from our firm. It is important to remember that the consent of the individual or organization is not a valid defense for the offender. With a comprehensive and educated knowledge of the Florida hazing laws, one of our lawyers from Thomas & Paulk can assist your family through this difficult legal battle. Hazing is listed in the Florida Statute under Title XLVIII, Chapter 1006.63.

If you or your child is charged with hazing, it is important to obtain the legal defense you need. The state of Florida has a distinct definition of hazing that is classified as the action of intentionally endangering the mental or physical health of a student for the purpose of initiation. Hazing may include several actions, including:

  • Coercing a student into violating a federal or state law
  • Any brutality with a physical and violent nature
  • Any activity that forces the student to extreme mental stress
  • Forced activity which can affect the student's mental health
  • Forced sleep deprivation or exclusion from social contact

Hazing is a criminal offense that must be handled with careful attention to the details of the event. At Thomas & Paulk, we can help you examine the evidence against you and begin to develop a strong case in your defense. The criminal defense attorney that you choose to represent your case can have a large role in the outcome of your case. For that reason, it is essential to choose a dedicated and qualified attorney from our firm. Contact our firm to speak with a Tampa hazing defense attorney today!

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