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A violent crime can carry serious penalties. Whether it is an assault charge, murder charge or weapons charges, people who are convicted of a violent crime can be sentenced to many years in prison.

An 18-year-old man was recently arrested for allegedly opening fire on a street in Plainfield, New Jersey, and wounding a 5-year-old boy in the face. The boy was walking with his mother on the street after school, and his mother tried to move him out of harm's way when she realized that a shooting had occurred. However, a stray bullet entered the boy's mouth and ended up in his throat. He was sent to the hospital, where his condition was reportedly critical but stable.

According to authorities, the boy was not targeted by the alleged gunman. It is unknown if the alleged shooter was aiming at anyone in particular or if he was just firing a gun.

The suspect is now facing attempted murder and weapons charges. Since he is 18, he will likely be tried as an adult.

A criminal conviction can have serious consequences for the life of the young man, who is only 18. He may have to spend time in prison and experience great difficulty living a normal life after being released. Situations like this are tragic for everyone involved. Many times teens are trying to show off by firing weapons, and they may not think fully about the potential consequences. We should ask ourselves if we could be doing more to educate people about the dangers of gun violence.

Source: NewYork.CBSLocal.com, "Teen Arrested In Shooting That Wounded 5-Year-Old Boy In New Jersey," Jan. 12, 2013

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