Minor in Possession of Drugs
In Tennessee, it is illegal for minors as well as adults to possess a controlled substance without proper authorization. An underage person caught with drugs may face serious consequences for a delinquent offense, including probation or state custody. If your teenage son or daughter was arrested for drug possession, a Nashville drug crime lawyer can advocate on their behalf and protect them from unnecessary penalties. Attorney Bernie McEvoy is qualified to defend juveniles in drug possession cases in Williamson and Davidson Counties. He can provide legal guidance and fight for a favorable outcome in a minor in possession of drugs case.Minor in Possession of Drugs in Tennessee
Controlled substances are drugs are subject to Tennessee and federal laws. In Tennessee, it is a crime to possess a controlled substance such as marijuana or prescription medications without a valid prescription. For most adult defendants, a first-time drug possession charge is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine if convicted. When the offender is under the age of eighteen, however, different legal procedures may apply. Although there are rare situations where a juvenile may be charged as an adult for serious crimes, in general, a minor who commits a Tennessee misdemeanor or felony offense will be subject to adjudication through the juvenile justice system.
A minor in possession of drugs is considered a delinquent offense. In many cases, a minor found in possession of drugs will not be arrested or taken into police custody to be charged with a criminal offense. Instead, the minor may be given a citation for juvenile delinquency and issued a summons for a court date with their parents. The family may retain an attorney to represent the minor in juvenile court.Consequences of a Juvenile Adjudication
A minor who is found guilty of drug possession may face several consequences. Although the Tennessee juvenile justice system focuses on the rehabilitation of youths, rather than punishment, the penalties can be serious. The court may issue an order of denial of driving privileges for the juvenile offender, order community service or counseling, and/or place the juvenile on probation or other supervision. A youth placed under supervision as a result of a drug offense typically will be required to undergo a substance abuse screening. The assessment is conducted by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to determine whether the juvenile has a drug dependency and if drug and/or alcohol treatment is necessary. The results of the assessment and recommended level of treatment will be incorporated into an individual treatment plan for the juvenile. In addition, the youth may be subject to drug and/or alcohol testing during supervision.
Pretrial diversion may be a favorable option in many juvenile drug possession cases. Pretrial diversion allows for dismissal of the petition or charges if the minor complies with certain conditions for the duration of the program. Although these penalties may seem manageable, they may have a significant impact on a young person’s future, education and employment opportunities. Other consequences of being charged with drug possession may include loss of eligibility to play sports or attend school functions. A juvenile delinquency record may also be visible to law enforcement officers in subsequent stops involving the youth.Hire an Attorney in Nashville for a Minor in Possession of Drugs Offense
Juvenile defendants and minors charged with adult crimes should have proper legal representation. Criminal defense lawyer Bernie McEvoy can navigate you and your child through the legal process following a charge for a minor in possession of drugs. He can also provide advice to people with questions about underage drug and alcohol crimes in Nashville, Franklin, and many other areas of Davidson and Williamson Counties. Schedule a free consultation to discuss a juvenile or adult criminal charge by calling (615) 255-9595 during business hours or (615) 804-8779 after hours and on weekends, or by submitting our contact form online.