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Juvenile Drug Defendants In Florida
Whether parents like it or not, it is slowly becoming more and more common for minors to experiment with drugs and other substances in this day and age. However, given their relative youth and inexperience, it is somewhat inevitable that many of them are caught, facing potentially serious consequences that can torpedo an upward trajectory. A parent whose child has been charged with possession of drugs can find it hard not to panic – but all is not lost, especially with experienced legal help on your side.
Young People Are Still Using
While substance abuse among Florida youth has, in general, decreased, the numbers as of 2021 still report almost 1 in 10 students engaging in binge drinking, with around 22 percent admitting to vaping nicotine and almost 20 percent to using marijuana. There are a variety of potential reasons why young people use substances, but unfortunately, they are almost always irrelevant if a person is caught possessing or using them by law enforcement.
The most common drug crime with which juveniles are charged is simple possession, which has three parts: (1) actual or constructive possession by the defendant; (2) the substance in question must be illegal; and (3) the defendant must have known the substance was illegal. All three must be proven in order for the juvenile to be found guilty, and the amount of the substance in question will play the most significant role in the sentence the court hands down in the event of conviction.
Several Different Possible Paths
If your child has been charged with a drug offense, it is crucial to be aware of certain factors. First among them is that unless your child is a repeat offender, the majority of juvenile possession cases are handled in juvenile court. Florida is a state that is tough on crime, but it sees most juvenile defendants as worthy of rehabilitation, rather than immediate punishment. For this reason, most (though not all) juvenile records are destroyed automatically when the person reaches age 24, and can be sealed beforehand.
That said, if your child has offended before, or they commit a more serious drug-related crime like possession with intent to sell, they will likely be tried as an adult. Florida’s history with drugs ensures that state’s attorneys take each case seriously, and often push for harsh sentences to teach others a lesson. Having an experienced attorney to advocate for your child can make all the difference.
Contact A West Palm Beach Juvenile Drug Possession Attorney
If your child has been charged with a drug crime in Florida, it is important to take things seriously while knowing that in all likelihood, the state will not simply lock them up and throw away the key. A West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. will protect your child’s rights in court, and ensure that they have the best chance at a fair outcome. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.