Minor in Possession of Drugs
In Florida, minors who are accused of breaking the law are treated differently than adults. A drug possession offense committed by a youth of any age under eighteen years may be processed through the juvenile justice system. Minors in juvenile court have the right to counsel at all stages of any delinquency court proceeding. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg drug crimes attorneys can defend minors against criminal charges and protect their rights. If your child is facing charges for minor in possession of drugs, we can navigate you through the justice system and address any concerns you may have throughout the process.Florida Offenses for Minor in Possession of Drugs
In Florida, it is illegal to possess a controlled substance that was not lawfully obtained with a valid prescription or otherwise authorized by law. Drug possession is a crime that may be committed by an adult or a minor under the age of eighteen. The severity of a drug possession offense depends on the amount and type of drugs involved in the offense, as well as other circumstances. Possession of controlled substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and some prescription drugs is generally a more serious offense than marijuana possession. Simple possession of most drugs is a third-degree felony offense in Florida. Possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance may result in a charge for possession with intent to sell, a higher offense subject to harsh penalties.Contest Minor in Possession of Drugs Allegations in Juvenile Court
The state attorney may file charges against a juvenile in adult court for certain crimes specified by statute and in other circumstances. Unless there is a substantial amount of drugs involved, or other aggravating factors, a minor in possession of drugs is usually considered a delinquent act that may be processed by the juvenile justice system. This is advantageous in some ways, as the Florida juvenile justice system is focused on the rehabilitation, rather than punishment, of drug offenders. Moreover, a drug possession charge processed in juvenile court will not result in a felony conviction. Nevertheless, the potential consequences of a juvenile adjudication may have a lasting affect on a young person.
A juvenile with no criminal history facing a first-time offense for minor in possession of drugs may be eligible for a diversion program. The diversion program may last up to year and typically involves random drug screens, substance abuse counseling, and/or other educational programs. If the juvenile successfully completes diversion, the state may dismiss the minor in possession of drugs charge.
A juvenile who is not eligible for diversion may contest a charge for minor in possession of drugs in an adjudicatory hearing before a judge.
Juvenile court proceedings are governed by special procedural rules that may differ from adult court. In general, minors are afforded the same constitutional rights as adults, including the right to due process, the right against illegal searches and seizures, and the right against self-incrimination. Further, there may be defenses to a minor in possession of drugs charge, depending on the details of the case. An attorney who is familiar with the juvenile justice system can defend your child against a minor in possession of drugs charge and prepare you for what to expect.Retain a an Attorney for a Minor in Possession of Drugs Charge in St. Petersburg
Juvenile drug violations can result in serious consequences, but a skilled defense lawyer can advocate on behalf of your child for a favorable outcome. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our dedicated team of attorneys in St. Petersburg can defend juveniles accused of offenses such as minor in possession of drugs as well as other delinquent acts. We are qualified to provide defense representation for minors and adults in courts throughout Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. Schedule an initial consultation to discuss a drug charge with a knowledgeable defense lawyer by calling 727-286-6141 or submitting our contact form online.