Every parent dreads the possibility that they’ll get a call from the police one day, informing them that their kid has been busted for drug possession, use or distribution. These don’t necessarily have to be anything as serious as opioid drugs; they could be prescription drugs used recreationally, or even alcohol.
Not long ago, anyone who possessed drugs of any description, juvenile or not, was subject to extremely draconian laws. Gratefully, the law has evolved since then. Prosecutors mostly try to view drug possession as aligned to addiction, rather than criminal activity.
Your First Reaction
When parents first hear of a drug-related arrest of their child, they usually panic. When you go in to see your child, though, it’s important that you hold your emotions in check. You shouldn’t discuss the case over the phone or in person at the precinct. Your conversation could be overheard by the police, recorded and used against your child. Rather, you should find an expert criminal defense lawyer who specializes in juvenile drug cases.
If it was in your House, you could Lose it
If the arrest was over drug use in your house, the prosecutor will usually look for evidence that you knew about these activities. In some states, you could face legal consequences that could go as far as forfeiture of your house. You’ll need excellent defense to retain your property.
Ask your Lawyer about a Pretrial Diversion Program
Like several other states, Texas law allows for pretrial diversion programs for first-time offenders in many districts. You need to ask your lawyer about it. If your child qualifies, they are a good idea. Rather than try your child immediately for the offense, the court will put the case on hold to wait and watch. If your child stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed.
In the meantime, you could take your child to rehab and drug recovery programs. You’ll need to maintain detailed documentary proof of attendance and completion. District attorneys tend to take a very positive view of young people who show up with a rehab certificate.
Schedule a Meeting with the District Attorney
If the district attorney will agree to meeting with you, you can present your child’s case, request a pretrial diversion program, and ask for dismissal later on. If your child is successful with his pretrial diversion program, the district attorney will usually agree to expunge the case off his permanent record. It doesn’t happen on its own, though — you’ll need to put in a request.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do in Most Cases
It can be risky to try any of the following options unless your lawyer gives you his blessing:
- Agreeing to allow your child to turn in his friends in order to be set free himself.
- Agreeing to any kind of special concessionary offer by the police that isn’t written down, sealed and stamped by the prosecutor and the defense attorney.
- Agreeing to have your home car searched is a bad idea. If any kind of illegal substance is found, you could lose both.
Being arrested for drugs is serious business. The best way to come out on top is to do your job as parent, and to make sure that you follow your lawyers advice.