In Texas State, a minor under the age of 17 will typically face a unique criminal justice system, known as the juvenile justice process, when accused of and charged with a crime. One of the most common crimes in juvenile court are drug crimes, such as possession or cultivating marijuana. Although the weight of the justice system is generally lighter upon the shoulders of a minor, the consequences of a conviction are still significant and could have a lasting, negative impact on their lives.
A child convicted of a drug crime in Texas could face the following legal penalties:
- Counseling: Both the convicted teen and the parents will need to attend drug counselling sessions to deter the minor from taking, holding, or selling drugs again. The juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate minors, not remove them from society altogether.
- Probation: Similar to probation in the adult criminal justice system, the minor must adhere to a strict set of rules set by the judge, which will usually include frequent reports to probation officers.
- Detention: The juvenile form of incarceration, detention can place the convicted minor in a juvenile detention facility for months or more. The child may also be forced to stay within their own home or the home of a foster family for an extended duration.
Legal Penalties Cause Growing Pains
The legal penalties attached to a juvenile drug crime conviction are certainly not the only way your child could be punished. In some ways, they are arguably not even the most consequences. Instead, the lingering damage to their reputation can be difficult to overcome or leave behind. Attending school – assuming they were not expelled for the alleged crime – can become a challenge as teachers and classmates view and treat them differently. Advanced education in the form of attending college or university may not be an option as enrollment is denied to those with criminal records. Even getting a job may be an uphill battle if a potential employer sees a drug crime conviction on your child’s history.
It is critical for parents to take any drug crime accusation against their child seriously, as a minor cannot retain legal counsel on their own. It will be up to you to secure trusted advocacy from a drug crime attorney if your child has been arrested and charged. At the Law Office of Samuel R. Terry, Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Samuel Terry can listen to your child’s side of the story and build a powerful defensive case on their behalf.
Retain an attorney who will work directly with you, start to finish. Schedule a free case evaluation today.