Juvenille Arrests for Drugs – What to Know

Drug use has been an issue for teenagers for decades, to the point where around 86% of high school students know someone that abuses substances. Drinking and marijuana are the top substances among students, with over a quarter of students using marijuana, and nearly three-quarters using alcohol. With the continued rise in use, the number of students being arrested for drug possession and distribution rises with it.

A juvenile arrest, while not guaranteed to remain on the child’s record, can have a cascading negative effect on the child, from social stigma, to legal punishments. It’s important to note that drug charges can arise from a variety of substances, including legal ones. If your child has a prescription for a medication like Adderall or Ritalin, selling or giving pills to other students is treated as drug distribution. Among the substances that are commonly found to be used by teens are:

  • Amphetamines
  • Adderall
  • Opioid painkillers
  • Synthetic marijuana
  • Tranquilizers
  • Cough medicine
  • Vicodin
  • Hallucinogens
  • OxyContin
  • Sedatives
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • LSD
  • Cocaine
  • Ritalin
  • Inhalants
  • Salvia

A juvenile can be arrested for both possessing and distributing, which carry similar penalties, depending on the drug and the severity of the charge. After committing an offense, a juvenile is required to appear in juvenile court, which will determine whether the case will be adjudicated (much like a conviction for adults). In some cases, a child might be sent to adult court depending on their age and the offense. The potential penalties range from probation, restitution, community service, placement in a rehab facility, probation, and even placement in a juvenile detention center.

If your child is arrested for drug possession or distribution, we can help.

At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.