Minors Charged with Drug Possession
Athens Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
Most minors have little to no experience with the criminal justice system. Therefore, when faced with a criminal charge, they may take actions that are not in their best interest and ultimately assist in their own convictions. It is extremely important for young adults to secure the assistance of an Athens criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.
Under Georgia law, a minor in possession of alcohol or drugs in Athens is subjected to the same drug prohibitions as an adult, but punishments and collateral consequences may differ. Potential penalties for being a minor in possession of drugs in Athens vary depending on several factors, including the type and amount of the drug.
If you or a family member has been charged with drug possession, call (706) 705-5122 today.
Drug Possession Penalties
The penalties for drug possession in Georgia is strict. Even marijuana possession, which is slowly being decriminalized in other parts of the country, is still heavily punished in the state.
Possible penalties for minors charged with drug possession include:
- Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge with a possible penalty of up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines
- Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony, carrying a potential prison sentence between 1-10 years
- A first offense for possession of a Schedule I or II drug carries a potential prison sentence of 2-15 years
These are only a few of the possibilities, and potential punishments can increase if the court determines that the minor possessed the drug with the intent to distribute or sell it. Additionally, possession within 1,000 yards of a school, playground or drug-free commercial zone can result in even more serious penalties. Minors may also receive sentences for a juvenile detention center, instead of an adult prison depending on age.
The Impact of a Minor in Possession of Drugs Charge
In addition to these criminal penalties, minors can also face other consequences, many of which can affect their future educational and employment prospects.
- Your license to operate a motor vehicle may be suspended for up to five years
- College admission may be denied due to the conviction
- Those already attending colleges, like the University of Georgia, may face suspension or expulsion and
- College sports eligibility may become compromised as well as various tuition assistance options
The Hope Scholarship is a tuition assistance program for Georgia residents who maintain a high level of academic achievement and attend eligible colleges. Recipients must comply with the Georgia Drug Free Postsecondary Education Act, which means that students lose eligibility if convicted of specific felony offenses for marijuana, a variety of dangerous drugs and other controlled substances. These potential consequences exemplify the need for an aggressive Athens criminal defense attorney.
Defending the Charge
If your or your child finds him or herself facing underage possession charges, an experienced Athens drug crime defense lawyer can prove helpful in defending the case. If you are facing your first possession charge, your attorney may negotiate your participation in a diversionary program in exchange for dismissal of charges. If a conviction is secured, your attorney can advocate for a shorter jail sentence, or community service in lieu of incarceration.
For a minor, one poor decision can prove detrimental to their entire adult life. If your minor child has been arrested in Georgia under a drug possession charge, or is facing charges as a minor in possession of alcohol in Athens, contact Athens Attorney J. Lee Webb for an aggressive and comprehensive defense.
Avoiding a Criminal Record Is Possible
As a minor, you may be eligible for a special diversion program that will help you avoid a permanent criminal record. To have your charge dismissed or removed from your record, you will be required to complete certain terms, such as going through rehabilitation or performing community service.
Attorney Lee Webb has helped a number of underage clients apply for the diversion program in order to mitigate the impact a minor in possession of drugs charge could have had on their life.
To learn more about your charges—and whether you may be eligible for this program—Call the Law Office of J. Lee Webb today for a confidential consultation.