Online challenge is landing teens in criminal trouble

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Although it has officially been banned from mention from the social media platform, an online challenge being spread on TikTok is landing some teenagers in criminal trouble.

Police say that they will not hesitate to file appropriate charges against teenagers who participate in the devious lick challenge by stealing or vandalizing property at schools.

The point of the challenge is to take or damage school property, usually in school bathrooms, and while recording video of oneself doing the prank.

It seems that some of the young people who pull these pranks do so in a way to get attention on social media or to come across as funny.

Polk County schools are cracking down on this behavior by referring cases to law enforcement. Recently, deputies arrested three minors for their alleged role in damaging and taking soap dispensers in bathrooms. The face charges of theft and criminal mischief.

Other schools have elected to handle pranksters internally for the time being, although they have not ruled out the possibility of requesting criminal prosecution.

In this case, it is possible that these teens will have their cases heard in juvenile court. However, a teen who has reached the age of majority may wind up in jail or having to pay hefty fines for participating in the devious lick challenge.

Teens facing-school related theft and mischief charges have legal options

High school students do sometimes make bad decisions. They may not fully appreciate that what they thought was at worst a prank is actually a crime in the State of Florida, or they may just get carried away by the thought of fitting in with their peers.

There may be options available, short of jail and a permanent record, through which a young person can get a second chance to do things the right way.

In other cases though, administrators and even school resource officers or other police can be way too quick to accuse a student who may have done nothing wrong. In these situations, a teen and his or her family will need to be well aware of their rights.