4 Steps To Take If Your Child Receives Drug Charges
Dealing with substance abuse can be incredibly difficult. However, it's arguably more difficult for parents when their children are struggling with substance abuse problems. Unfortunately, many young adults are currently dealing with drug addiction, in part due to the opioid crisis that is sweeping the nation. Many young people become addicted to opioids after being legally prescribed them for pain management purposes. Ohio is certainly not immune from this problem; 2017 alone saw Ohio providers write 63.5 prescriptions for every 100 people, compared to the national average of 58.7 prescriptions for every 100 people.
No matter why your child becomes addicted to drugs, dealing with the fallout is a long, arduous process. Substance abuse issues can often go undetected until they begin outwardly affecting someone, not just in terms of appearance and presentation but in the way they live their lives in general. One of the biggest shocks that a parent can receive is the news that their child has received drug charges. But with that shock, can come the recognition that now is the time to make a change for your child, whether they're a minor or an adult. So, how should you move forward if your child is among those charged with drug offenses?
1. Call A Lawyer
Stay calm. It's easy to panic if your child calls you and tells you that they just received drug charges. But what's most immediately important is ensuring that they get great legal advice and are protected. Now is not the time for you to call an attorney that you happen to know as a friend who deals with real estate law. You need a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in dealing with these kinds of crimes. Furthermore, if your child is a minor, you'll want to find an attorney who is also experienced regarding the juvenile court system.
Advise your child that a criminal defense lawyer is on their way, and tell them to remain silent. If they say something to law enforcement, it could potentially be used to incriminate them.
2. Determine The Charges
Not all drug charges are equal. The more information that you can give your attorney ahead of them meeting your child, the better. Furthermore, it can help you assist in whatever way you can if you understand the drug charges your child is dealing with.
Perhaps the most common types of drug charges are drug possession charges. These charges relate literally to the possession of drugs; if your child was pulled over and possessed illegal drugs in their car, for example, they could be given this charge. But that kind of charge offers room for error with the authorities as if they searched your child's car without cause the charges could be thrown out. The other two main drug charges are possession of drug paraphernalia and trafficking. The latter is the most serious charge, as it suggests possession with the intent to sell or manufacture drugs.
3. Have Frank Conversations
If your attorney has secured your child's release from jail, they may very well still be facing drug charges. Either way, you need to have frank conversations. When speaking to the lawyer, you need to know how to prepare and whether or not your child is facing jail time. You also need to understand the possibilities surrounding plea deals and other actions.
No matter what, you must have a conversation with your child. Not every arrest or drug charge is indicative of a long term addiction. Sometimes, people are caught with drugs in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's important to be honest with yourself when assessing the situation.
4. Consider An Intervention
You may need to consider an intervention for your child. An intervention not only could be lifesaving but is very necessary if they're going to face a trial. If your child is re-arrested for a drug-related offense, they may face even steeper consequences.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel if your child is arrested for a drug offense. With a good lawyer, you may have a better chance of beating the charges. However, you also need to put in the long term work to ensure this doesn't happen again.