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Teen charged with felonies over graffiti at Central City school

Detectives from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office claim that an 18-year-old broke into Central Private School because he was mad at administrators. Law enforcement believes that the teen entered the building through an unlocked window. An unidentified accomplice is also believed to have been involved in the alleged entry into the school.

Authorities accuse the 18-year-old of using spray paint to create graffiti on lockers, walls and other areas inside the school. The teen has been arrested on suspicion of unauthorized entry of a place of business and simple criminal damage to property. These allegations can carry harsh consequences if a person is convicted.

Juveniles and other teens may often face charges through mistake on the part of authorities, a simple lack of judgment on the part of teens or many other reasons. An unauthorized entry charge carries a potential sentence of up to six years behind bars with or without hard labor under the language of the statute--it is a felony-level offense.

Similarly, simple criminal damage to property may not be as simple as the name implies. Criminal damage to property charges can have various moving parts, including the alleged amount of damage and whether or not authorities suspect that a person has intentionally damaged specified types of property (such as a watercraft or car) and it is foreseeable that the damage could endanger someone's life.

The latter allegations may be the basis of an aggravated damage charge. But simple property damage allegations can expose a person accused of the offense to a felony-level charge, based upon the dollar value law enforcement decides to attach to the alleged damage.

In the recent Central City allegations, authorities estimate the damage caused by the graffiti is estimated to be $3,000.

Source: The Advocate, "BR teen booked in Central vandalism case," Nov. 13, 2013

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