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Incarceration isn't necessarily the only option for juveniles

Your child went to school in an unusually happy way this morning, and you thought that his months of rebellion were over. Unfortunately, the day didn't turn out the way you'd hoped. In the afternoon, a call came in to tell you your son had drugs on the school's campus. Now, he faces arrest.

It's hard to imagine your own child getting into drugs, so you're not sure where he got them. You don't even have alcohol in your home, and it's a shock to find out he's being accused of dealing at school. Fortunately, your child is a minor, which means there are alternatives to prison.

Why is an alternative to prison important?

Alternatives to incarceration are important because studies show that children don't do well in confinement. For some youth, the imprisonment has negative effects, and it is costly to the public.

Reforms try to avoid detention for juveniles and aim on recovery instead. For instance, your attorney may help you seek out drug treatment therapies for your child as an intervention, since going to prison doesn't necessarily treat the underlying problem of using or dealing drugs.

Will my child lose his case?

While many parents feel their children automatically have to work harder to win their cases, the truth is that your child has every right to a strong defense and a chance to walk away without a conviction. In some instances, the prosecution may offer a deal where the individual could go through treatment and avoid a criminal mark on his record. It all comes down to the situation, but it's perfectly possible for your defense attorney to find a way to have your child's case dismissed or to have the penalties deferred or lowered.

Minors make mistakes, and the courts know it. With help, your child can get back on the right track.

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