Minor in Possession of Drugs
Atlanta Drug Crimes Lawyer
When a minor is caught in possession of these illegal substances or prescription
medication without a prescription, they could be charged with a juvenile
in possession crimes. While they are still charged in court, the trial
will be held in juvenile court. The case could be handled less formally.
While the juvenile court is less formal, it is highly recommended parents
retain a skilled Atlanta drug crimes attorney for their minor. I have
successfully handled thousands of cases over the last decade. I am confident
I can successfully represent your minor child arrested for drug possession.
My firm offers free case reviews. Call me today to discuss your case. 888.228.2775
Possession Requires Knowledge or Control
Juvenile possession requires both the knowledge of the substance and the
control. A minor who knowingly possesses an illegal drug can be charged
with possession. Minors can also be charged with possession if they are
caught with drugs they are not prescribed. For example, if a minor was
caught in possession of Adderall without a prescription, they could be
guilty of juvenile drug possession.
In order to convict a teen of juvenile possession, the prosecution must
demonstrate that the individual had knowledge of the substance’s
existence before the time of the arrest. For instance, a group of teens
heads out for a weekend vacation at one of their parents’ cabins.
One of their friends packs marijuana in their suitcase for the weekend.
During their drive up the mountain, the tire goes flat, and they are forced
to pull to the side of the road.
A police officer pulls over to help. When the driver opens the trunk, the
officer smells marijuana, which gives him or her probable cause to search
the vehicle. While the drugs are in the trunk of the driving teen’s
car, they may have had no knowledge of its existence. In this situation,
a skilled Atlanta drug crimes attorney could argue the minor had no knowledge
of the drugs and therefore should not be charged with possession.
To be charged with possession a police officer is not required to catch
the minor holding the illegal substance rather, they must only demonstrate
that the minor had control over where the drugs were found. This could
mean the drugs were found in the juvenile’s bedroom, locker or in
their car while they are not currently driving.
Penalties of Juvenile Drug Possession
If your minor has been arrested for drug possession, they are facing serious
penalties. While these penalties differ from the penalties an adult would
face during a regular trial, they should still be taken seriously. Below
is a list of the penalties for juvenile drug possession.
Counseling: While a teen is minor, the court's primary focus is to rehabilitate
them. For this reason, the minor will likely be required to attend drug
counseling with his or her parents or legal guardian.
Probation: A teen convicted of drug possession will likely also face probation. When
a juvenile is put on probation, the court can require they follow a set
of guidelines or risk further punishment. These guidelines could be conditions
like attending school regularly, getting a job, or performing community service.
Diversion: This option is only available in some courts and is usually only offered
to first-time offenders. Diversion is often like an informal probation
without the need for a court order. If the teen complies with the diversion,
the charges are often dropped.
Detention: Detention is rare for first-time offenders because the courts are focused
on rehabilitation, but in some cases, a minor can be placed in a detention
center if they are convicted of drug possession. Detention can also include
home confinement, or placement with a foster family or another guardian.
Trusted, Experienced Drug Crime Defense
In Georgia, the courts often see drug possession as signs of other serious
issues. If your minor has been arrested on drug possession charges, it
is imperative you speak with a skilled attorney immediately. I have experience
as a former prosecutor, which means I can bring some insight to how the
courts might handle your juvenile’s case. Additionally, I was named
as one of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, which is an exclusive list.
Only attorneys who have demonstrated superior legal skills, qualifications,
and success are admitted to this prestigious list.
Contact The Sylvan Firm, LLC today to get started on your case.