Teenagers in Texas and other parts of the country are naturally curious, which can combine with the peer pressure that everyone experiences in their youth to cause many young people to experiment with drugs. These young people may not think much about the consequence of their actions if they can conceal their activities from their parents, but some of them will learn the hard way that drug involvement can bring steep legal consequences in Texas.
What are juvenile drug crimes in Texas?
Both illicit narcotics and unlawfully used prescription medicines can result in a drug crime. This point is relevant because many young people do not possess a complete understanding of drug crimes. Teenagers will sometimes assume that if a drug is legally prescribed to their parent or another person, it doesn’t constitute a crime to possess or sell it.
The effect of drug quantities on case outcomes
No amount of any controlled substance is legal for an underage person to possess. However, the quantity of the substance found on the young person will play a large role in determining the court’s disposition on the matter. Small amounts of a controlled substance possessed by a juvenile will likely lead to misdemeanor charges. The punishment for this misdemeanor drug charge can range in severity from a warning to a probationary period that lasts until the offender is 18 years old. The court can also mandate drug treatment for the young person.
Juvenile offenders with large amounts of drugs in their possession may face felony charges. Young persons charged with a felony can receive the same sentences associated with misdemeanor charges. However, it becomes more likely for the young person to become exposed to harsher sentencing tools like house arrest, supervised probation and electronic monitoring. Felony offenses can also result in incarceration periods.
Defending against juvenile drug charges
Experimenting with drugs does not make a teenager a bad person, but young people arrested for the possession of drugs can bring consequences to their lives that will affect them for many years after an arrest. Parents with juveniles arrested for drug offenses may be better able to help their child after a conversation with a defense attorney.