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As a parent, you are constantly checking to see what your children are doing during their free time. As they move into their teenage years, many begin to exercise certain independence from Mom and Dad. Maybe they go to their friend’s house more often, just to get away from parental rule. Always observe your children, when you can, especially if there are obvious behavioral changes. This may be a sign of experimenting with drugs.

Testing the Waters

The teenage years are a time of testing out new experiences and not telling Mom and Dad what is happening in their lives. Children in broken homes may have less guidance, especially if the remaining parent is working all the time to make financial ends meet.

There may be students who pass out drugs at parties, even if no alcohol is allowed, creating a situation where your child feels uncomfortable if he or she does not take the drug.  Most children want to be friends with the popular guys and gals at school, and if they take drugs, your child may take drugs too, just to stay in that circle of friends.

A juvenile can be charged with drug possession, but this is dependent on the child’s age and circumstances of the case

Education on Drugs

You can check with your local school where your children attend, to see if they have drug education programs which highlight the dangers of taking drugs, especially if they do not know what they are. This is very dangerous as even low-impact drugs can deliver an adverse reaction to children who are allergic to certain ingredients found even in over-the-counter (OTC) stores.

Children can get into their parent’s prescriptions and take one or two of the pills, hoping Mom or Dad do not realize that some are missing. If children are found in possession of prescription drugs by school authorities, they may be taken down to the police station, and you are called to come down there to talk to the police. Schedule II drugs such as prescription opiates like Oxycontin and other painkillers have a high-risk addiction factor.

You, as a parent, could be in trouble for not securing these prescriptions so that your children cannot get into them. One charge you may receive as the parent is that of Criminal Negligence under California Penal Code § 270. The other potential charge is Child Endangerment under California Penal Code § 273(a).

Penalties for Juveniles

A juvenile can be charged with drug possession, but this is dependent on the child’s age and circumstances of the case, including how much the child had. In first-time offenses, the charge is usually a misdemeanor. While there is a possibility of jail time for teenagers, younger children may not receive any penalty at all. However, parents may be the ones to pay the price, such as a fine.

Probation is also a possible outcome, whereby a teenager must attend school, perform a community service, and possibly enter a substance abuse program. Curfews are also imposed. In cases where drug distribution has occurred, the teenager may be put in a juvenile detention facility. You need a good criminal defense attorney to help you get the best possible outcome for both yourself and your child.

Call us at once if your child has been detained for drug possession and you need a consultation. 619-234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys. In 2017, he was also selected for the Super Lawyers Top 50 in San Diego list. In 2014, he was selected as a Top Attorney by Los Angeles Magazine. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong was also named as a Top Attorney by the San Diego Business Journal in 2014.

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