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Juvenile drug charges could ruin your child's future

As a parent, you probably do everything you can to support your children and encourage them toward the best possible future. However, the teenage years are fraught with temptation, combined with a physiological deficit in understanding long-term risks and consequences.

The teenage brain simply isn't wired to understand the fallout to poor decision making and experimentation. As a result, peer pressure could result in your child's temptation to experiment with mind-altering substances. Unfortunately, if a teenager gets caught in possession of illegal substances, it can cause issues that can be life-long.

One of the most pressing concerns if your child is facing a drug charge is the potential loss of all federal student aid in the future. Even if law enforcement claim your child was in possession of a single joint of marijuana weighing less than a single gram, a conviction could end your child's dreams of college and a lucrative career afterward.

Marijuana is legal for adults, not teenagers

While Washington state has changed its laws regarding adult recreational marijuana use, it is still completely illegal for minors to possess or use marijuana (unless they have a serious, qualifying medical condition like epilepsy). Since the legalization of marijuana in the state, many have begun viewing marijuana offenses as minor or even silly. However, the courts and the federal government still take marijuana and other drug charges for minors very seriously. Without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, your child's guilty plea or conviction could haunt him or her for life.

Working with an experienced attorney increases your chance of a positive outcome. Your attorney can help you explore alternatives to incarceration or pleading guilty to avoid harsh penalties. It may be possible to contest some of the evidence, particularly if your child's civil rights were violated by law enforcement. It's also possible that the courts will change the charges to something that isn't a drug offense, allowing your child the possibility of a better future after repaying his or her debt to society.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference

While your child may receive the help of a public defender, working with one may not be the best solution. Public defenders are typically overworked and overextended. They are expected to understand many different areas of criminal law, meaning they won't be an expert in either drug defense or juvenile defense. The best chance for a positive outcome to this difficult situation comes from working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will advocate for your child and his or her future.

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