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What to do if your child is charged with drug possession

You and your spouse have worked hard to provide a loving, comfortable home for your children. You tried your best to raise your child right. Now your son or daughter has been charged with drug possession. You are not sure how you got here, but you know you want to do everything you can to protect your child’s future.

Potential charges

In Florida, drug possession charges are the same whether you are a child or an adult. The seriousness of the charges depends on the type of drug, the amount confiscated and where your child was when he or she was arrested.

The location of the arrest matters because if your child was caught within 1,000 feet of a school or church, the penalties are increased.

Arrests for marijuana possession can result in a misdemeanor charge, if the amount was under 20 grams. If the amount was over 20 grams, the charges may be a third-degree felony, which could mean up to 5 years incarcerated or a large fine.

Possession of drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamines or heroin draw an increased charge, like a third-degree felony or higher. Again, a larger amount will increase the criminal charge and potential punishments.

Protect your child’s rights

With these repercussions on the line, you want to do everything possible to protect your child’s interests. Your child has the right to counsel before they speak to the police. However, many minors may not be unaware of this. As soon as possible, stop your child from answering questions from the police without legal counsel present. He or she could inadvertently say something incriminating.

Contact an attorney

When you are dealing with your child’s future, you do not want to mess around. You will likely want to contact an attorney experienced in juvenile law. Though your child may face the same charges as an adult, there are different consequences. Treatment instead of incarceration may be recommended. You should look for an attorney that understands this process and can fight on your child’s behalf.

Find treatment for your child

Regardless of whether the court places your child in a treatment program, you may want to seek treatment for him or her. If your child was abusing drugs, he or she may need help with recovery. This also demonstrates to the court that you are committed to recovery and rehabilitation.

A drug arrest does not have to ruin your child’s future. You can help protect that future.

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