Carrying a concealed weapon may be punished harshly in Broward County. Both adults and juveniles may be charged with Broward County weapons crimes. In a recent appellate decision, the appellate court considered the appeal of a juvenile challenging the lower court’s withholding adjudication of delinquency and the placing of him on probation. He’d been charged under section 790.115(2) for possessing a weapon on school property and under section 790.01(1) for carrying a concealed weapon. Both of these counts pertained to a steak knife.
On the day of the incident, the principal met with the juvenile who was 13 years old. He searched his backpack and found a steak knife that had a 4 ½ inch blade. The juvenile was charged.
The prosecution called two witnesses to the stand, the assistant principal and an officer, at the adjudicatory hearing. The defendant objected to the principal’s testimony related to what led the juvenile to his office before the steak knife was found. The prosecutor explained he wanted to ask the principal how he got involved in the case, and what sensory impressions he had, including statements by other students. The defense attorney said this wasn’t relevant since it hadn’t filed a motion to suppress the evidence in the bag; how or why he searched the bag was irrelevant. It claimed the juvenile had the knife because he’d gone fishing with his father. However, the principal hadn’t noticed any other indications of fishing, such as bait or fish odor, in the backpack.