Cleveland Drug Possession Attorney
Possession of a controlled or illegal drug is one of the easiest ways juveniles can get in trouble with the law. Drug possession charges for juveniles are not taken lightly and they can damage a teen’s chances of getting into a quality college or participating in school programs and sports. If your child has been arrested on possession charges, you should be aware of their rights and your rights as their parent during this trying time.
Know Your Child’s Rights
If your child is under 18, they are considered a juvenile in the courts. Any juvenile who knowingly possesses a controlled or illegal substance can be charged with drug possession. This doesn’t mean they can just claim the substance isn’t theirs and get out of the charges. If the police can prove that a minor had control over the area where the drugs were found, the police are able to charge them. For example, if the drugs were found in the child’s room, the police could determine the juvenile had control of that area.
Below is a list of rights a minor has after they’ve been arrested:
- The Right to a Phone Call – When the police make an arrest, they must read the Miranda Rights out to an arrestee. If you’ve ever watched any cop dramas you’ve likely heard them: “You have the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if indigent”. The Miranda Rights are what allows your minor their phone call. They will likely call you, which is when you should contact an experienced Cleveland drug possession attorney.
- A Minor has a Right to Counsel: If your child has been arrested on drug possession charges, they have the right to ask for a lawyer. As mentioned above, it is in your family’s best interest to hire an attorney that is familiar with the juvenile judicial process.
- Notice of Charges: If your minor has been arrested, law enforcement must provide them with notice of any charges he/she faces.
After an arrest for drug possession, minors could face potentially severe consequences. The criminal process for minors is a bit different though. Because of their age juveniles are given more opportunities for rehabilitation before incarceration, especially if it is their first arrest.
Some examples of punishments include:
- Drug Counselling: the judicial system is focused on rehabilitation for minors. Depending on the circumstances of the drug possession charge, a minor may only be required to attend drug counselling courses for a designated amount of time.
- Probation: the terms of your child’s probation will be outlined by the judge but typically probation includes drug counselling, a set amount of hours for community service, and regular reports to a probation officer.
- Diversion: Often juveniles arrested on a first time drug possession charge are put on what’s known as a diversion or informal probation. A diversion basically places the minor on probation
- Detention: While rare, a court may sentence a juvenile to detention for drug possession. A sentence for detention could be house arrest, placement with a foster family, or in a juvenile home.
Contact an Attorney
At Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly Co. L.P.A. , our Cleveland drug possession attorneys have extensive experience handling juvenile drug possession cases. During this time, it is imperative you seek out the counsel of an attorney with this type of experience as the juvenile courts handle these charges differently.
Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.