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Alleged milk carton theft results in criminal charges

Sometimes the most seemingly innocuous behaviors result in criminal charges, especially among young people. A Virginia middle school student is facing criminal charges after an alleged theft on school grounds.

According to the student's mother, the boy was in the school cafeteria when he got back in the lunch line to get his milk. The boy was a part of the school's free lunch program and the milk was free. However, a police officer accused the boy of stealing the 65-cent milk carton. The boy says that he pulled away from the officer and told him to get off him. The officer found this to be disorderly conduct and handcuffed the boy.

He was then taken to the principal's office where he was searched for drugs. His mother said it was because the boy was fidgety and not talking properly. He has since been suspended from school and charged with larceny. He has been ordered to appear in juvenile court.

The boy's mother says that it doesn't make sense that her son was charged with larceny for taking a milk carton that he was entitled to. Police say that the boy tried to conceal the milk, but the boy's mother denies that he did that. The school has reported that the suspension was for theft, being disrespectful and using a cell phone in school.

Being charged with a crime can be traumatizing for a young person especially when they don't believe they've done anything wrong. However, children and teens should remember that merely being charged with a juvenile crime does not mean that they are guilty. The prosecution will have to meet their burden of proof and prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If they do not do this, it is very likely that the defendant walks free.

Source: CBS 6, "Virginia student charged with stealing 'free' milk from school," Scott Wise, May 23, 2016

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