If your child is charged with misdemeanor drug possession—typically small amounts of marijuana or prescription drugs—they will lose their driver’s license for at least six months no matter what their age. They will likely be charged in juvenile court, but if your child is about to turn 18 years old, the court may opt to try the “child” as an adult.
The charges escalate to felony drug possession depending on the type of drug and the quantity that the child was in possession of at the time of their arrest.
For those charged with juvenile drug possession, the punishment varies among cases from no punishment at all to time in a juvenile detention center.
The Penalties for Misdemeanor Drug Possession Include:
- Drug rehabilitation or treatment
- Probation until the person convicted reaches the age of 18
- Educational courses on substance abuse
- Community service
- Court fee payment
The Penalties for Felony Drug Possession Include:
- All of the punishments for a misdemeanor
- Being confined at a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility until the child turns 19 years old
Punishments vary greatly if the juvenile has a history of other criminal acts—especially violent acts like assault—or if he or she is on probation for a previous crime. In some cases, the juvenile can be tried as an adult and, like adults convicted of drug possession in Texas, the juvenile may be required to pay heavy fines and may face jail time. If this is a first offense, the court may show leniency, but it’s important to have an attorney guide you through the process.
Recommended Read: 2 Texas Drug Laws: Penalties for Marijuana and Cocaine
Why Mounting a Proper Legal Defense Is Important to Your Child’s Future
Over the years, as more states legalize cannabis, drug possession and distribution crimes have become increasingly common among teenagers in Texas. Couple this with the “normalization” of drug use in our media and with peer pressure, and some kids are unable to resist the temptation; they not only use but take to selling drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and prescription pain killers, among others.
If your child was recently arrested for drug possession or possession of a controlled substance in Texas, you want to do what you can to make sure that their rights are protected. According to Texas law, your son or daughter can be charged with drug crimes as a juvenile if they are between the ages of 10 and 16.
Anytime a child is arrested for a crime, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, it should be handled with the seriousness it deserves. If handled recklessly, a juvenile drug possession charge can affect your child’s future, in areas ranging from their opportunities in education and employment (especially when it comes to government jobs requiring security clearance) to the ability to obtain professional (such as pilot’s, medical, or nursing) licenses to insurance rates and housing. A criminal record can make life much more difficult.
It’s important to make sure you mount the most aggressive defense you can. If the charges are dismissed or your child is found not guilty, it’s equally important to have the record expunged or sealed. Your attorney can help you do that.
Call Attorney J.L. Carpenter Today
If your child is facing juvenile drug possession charges, call an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney J.L. Carpenter is a former prosecutor with extensive experience in handling complex juvenile drug possession cases. She’ll build an aggressive defense for your son or daughter and make sure their rights are protected. Call her today at 713-561-5931 to fight for your child’s future and freedom. As a DUI attorney, JL also handles DUI cases, among other charges.