Juvenile Drug Penalties

Any person who owns or possesses a controlled substance without a legally recognized reason can be charged with drug possession. However, if you are under the age of 18, then that person is considered a juvenile, and will be charged with juvenile drug possession. What is the difference between a juvenile and an adult being charged with a drug possession charge? Well first, an adult will have their case handled at a regular trial court. A juvenile will not be tried at a regular trial court, but instead will be tried in a juvenile court system, which can be handled more informally. Here are some different penalties that can come of a juvenile drug possession.

Although in the paragraph above, it sounds like a juvenile court trial will be less serious, there are potentially some very serious consequences. There are a much wider range of options of consequences that a juvenile can receive from the judge than an adult can have. The first penalty that a juvenile could face is Drug Counselling. This is a popular choice amongst judges, simply to help the juvenile get back onto the right path for their life. This could entail the parents of the juvenile to attend the drug counseling with the hope of rehabilitating the teen.

Juvenile Drug Penalties

The next penalty that a juvenile could face is diversion. A teen who is dealt diversion will have to go through a program, without having to attend juvenile court. The juvenile must comply with specific court rules that they provide to them. But the main point of diversion is to have these juveniles completely avoid the juvenile court justice system. It is very similar to a rehabilitation program, which will hopefully remedy the behavior leading to the original arrest, but avoid conviction and a criminal record.

Probation is another option for a juvenile who has been arrested for drug possession. The average length for probation is about 6 months, but can also be longer. What happens to the teen during probation? There are a number of things that the court can order a person to do, and the juvenile’s only real rule is to comply with these different measures.  For instance, they can order the young person to attend school classes regularly, or maintain a job, or they can order them to participate in drug counselling or family counseling.

Lastly, the court can order a juvenile to detention, which involves home confinement, a new placement in a foster family or juvenile home or juvenile detention system. Drug cases do not typically lead to detention unless they are a repeat offender, or were in possession of drugs in congruence with a violent crime.

Do you know of anyone who needs representation with an adult or juvenile drug case? Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo today!

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