Both adults and minors found in possession of illegal and controlled substances have to appear in court and be punished according to the state laws. However, there are many differences in the way the justice system treats juvenile cases and cases involving adults. To say the least, juvenile trials are less formal and punishments are also less harsh.
Minor in Possession Charges
A child who is less than 18 years old (or depending on state rules) caught in possession of illegal or controlled substances such as drugs and alcohol will have to face charges. Unfortunately, it does not make a difference whether the minor is in possession, attempted to buy, or consumed an illegal substance.
Penalties for Juvenile Drug Possession
Juvenile offenses like minor in possession of drugs are handled in a Juvenile Court. The Juvenile Court, as said earlier, treats juvenile cases differently and orders punishments that are less harsh. But then, the penalties for drug possession in minors are more serious than other juvenile offenses.
- Court-ordered rehabilitation
- Community service
First-time offenders may be given moderate punishments. On the other hand, the court may order jail time or detention if the minor is a repeat offender or has committed other types of offenses in the past.
Defenses to Juvenile Drug Possession Laws
MIP laws vary by state. And because the law does not need a minor to be under the influence during the event of citation, it is quite difficult to prove innocence against MIP charges. You should talk to a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville, IL for appropriate defenses if your child is facing charges. The attorney may be able to prove that your child was not aware that the substance was illegal in the first place or that the drugs were found in a place the minor had totally no control of.
The justice system may be considerate when it comes to minors. However, juvenile drug possession or MIP is a serious offense in the juvenile justice system. Punishments for this type of offense are also severe.