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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Dealing With Florida Drug Charges As A Minor

Dealing With Florida Drug Charges As A Minor


It is a fact of life that many young people see experimenting with drugs as a rite of passage. In reality, it can lead to serious legal consequences that can affect a young person’s future – and not for the better. If you or your minor child has been charged with drug offenses in Florida, it is important to understand that you should take these charges very seriously, because even juveniles can wind up receiving a sentence that stays on one’s record for the foreseeable future.

Taken Seriously In Florida

Drug charges in Florida are usually prosecuted aggressively simply because the state is such a hotbed of drug activity – data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for 2021, which is the most recent available data, puts Florida’s overdose death total as the second-highest in the United States. This is generally true regardless of the age of the defendant, though an ‘aggressive’ prosecution looks different in juvenile court than it does in court for adults.

The two main factors that are taken into account by the state’s legal system when deciding how to prosecute a drug case are (1) the nature of the controlled substance involved; and (2) the amount of the controlled substance present, either by itself or mixed with another compound. Controlled substances are grouped by schedule, with Schedule I posing the greatest danger and Schedule V being less potentially addictive – so, for example, possessing a large amount of a Schedule V drug and a very small amount of a Schedule I drug might result in similar sentences.

A Possible Second Chance

If you have been charged with a drug offense as a minor, or your child has, engaging an attorney to protect your rights is crucial. While Florida takes drug offenses seriously, the state is also more inclined to take a rehabilitative approach with minors than it is with adults. If a minor child is charged with an offense like simple possession or possession of drug paraphernalia, and they have never before been in trouble with the law, it is likely their case will end up in juvenile court – and in many cases, their record can be expunged once they reach the age of majority.

That rehabilitative approach also means that juvenile court is more likely to sentence a youthful offender to a diversion program than to juvenile justice or jail for adults. Drug treatment programs are available both for minors in general, and also for first-time offenders tried as adults; other programs like anger management may also be required, depending on the specific facts of the situation. That said, if your child has been charged with felony drug possession, or a crime like distribution, the case will almost certainly be tried in adult court, with all the possible harsh sentencing.

Call A West Palm Beach Juvenile Drug Offenses Attorney

Being tried with a drug crime is quite frightening for many young people, and should be taken very seriously. If this is happening to you or your child, a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help – we know the ins and outs of the legal process, and can help to guide you through. Call our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



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