Unlawfully possessing drugs as a minor is a significant crime. If you’re called because your child has been using a friend’s medications and has been caught, then you should be prepared to deal with the possible consequences your child could face.
There’s no question that children make mistakes. They may use prescription medications given to them from friends for any number of reasons. Perhaps they want to try something new and didn’t think there would be any harm done. Maybe they intended to get high. There’s a possibility a friend gave them an opioid or painkiller when they were hurt not knowing how risky that was.
The first step for you is to find out which drugs they were using. That factor can play a role in the types of penalties that your child faces.
What are some of the commonly misused drugs teens have access to?
While almost any drug could be misused, the most commonly misused drugs include:
- Opioids, such as Vicodin or Codeine
- Stimulants, like Adderall or Ritalin
- Central nervous system depressants such as sedatives and sleep aids
It’s important to talk to your child about why using someone else’s prescription medications is not safe. Prescription drugs are controlled substances, and they can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. Explain the possible side effects and consequences of taking drugs that aren’t theirs, such as suffering from allergies, interactions or taking the wrong dosage.
Depending on the drug and the severity of the crime, your child could face significant penalties such as fines and jail time. In many parts of Texas, minors may be able to attend Alcohol and Drug classes to reduce penalties. Alternative penalties are something you may want to talk to your attorney about, especially if you believe that this was a one-off mistake and that your child is unlikely to reoffend.
Minors are not treated the same as adults who are caught in possession of drugs in many cases, but they could be, depending on their age and understanding of what they did. As a result, there is often an opportunity for leniency, but you need to be cautious about how your child is represented and be sure that they take steps to be seen positively in the eyes of the court. A first offense could come with significant fines, a license suspension and other significant penalties that will leave an impact on your child’s life.