Back to Juvenile Law
Minors in possession of and under the influence of drugs and alcohol is taken very serious throughout the United States. Minors are young and curious. Many times, a teenager’s curiosity can lead to experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Juveniles can face very serious consequences. In all cases, whether regarding drugs, alcohol, or both, penalties can be very serious for both minor and provider.
Juveniles who are caught with drugs are handled much differently from adults in the same situation, as the court has more options for juveniles. Many times, the juvenile is also under the influence of the drugs they have in their possession. When a juvenile is charged with drug possession, the court finds it important to rehabilitate them instead of giving them jail time. They do this to help guide the juvenile in the right direction before they start making the same or even worse decisions as an adult. In many cases, the minor will have to complete a drug counseling class or be placed on probation.
If the court orders probation, the juvenile must comply with specific court orders which may include drug counseling as well as community service hours. The court can also order diversion. Much like probation, diversion requires the juvenile to meet specific court-ordered requirements. It is usually given to first-time offenders and allows juveniles to go through a diversion program instead of directly through the juvenile court. Many times, when all requirements are reached during diversion, charges get dismissed.
In rare cases or for cases of repeat offenders, the court may order detention. Unlike probation or diversion, detention results in some type of confinement. The juvenile is either ordered to home confinement, placed with a foster family or different family guardian, and in the worst-case scenario, placed in a juvenile correction center.
The consequences of possession of alcohol are not very different from the consequences for the possession of drugs for juveniles. If the juvenile is a first-time offender, they will often be either put on probation or enrolled in a diversion program which will often require counseling, community service, and fines. If all requirements of the probation or diversion are met, this can sometimes result in deferred sentences and dismissed cases, but this usually only happens for first-time offenders.
The amount of community service can vary depending on the severity of the charge. Repeat offenders often face more severe consequences, such as time in juvenile correction centers and home confinement. The court always tries to do what is best for the juvenile in these cases. Juveniles are most often sent to alcohol and/or drug counseling to help them build better judgment before they reach adulthood. If the juvenile was making other unlawful decisions when caught with or under the influence of alcohol, they may also face more severe consequences.
Alcohol is legal for consumption over the age in 21 in all states. In many cases regarding the possession of alcohol by a minor, they got the alcohol from someone over the age of 21. If this is the case, the person over the age of 21 can face serious charges. If the place that legally serves alcohol serves a minor, it can result in a suspension or revocation of their liquor license, jail time, fines, and suspension of a driver’s license. If the provider was not a vendor, they can receive fines as well as jail time. In Colorado, minors are allowed to drink on private property with the consent of their parents. However, if the minor gets hurt or dies, the parents will be held responsible and will be charged.
If your minor son or daughter is facing charges regarding being under the influence or possession of drugs or alcohol, don’t let it hurt their future. As there is such a range in the charges, it is very important to get an attorney. Alcohol and drug charges for minors can be fought. Attorney Thomas A. Ramunda, Jr. has been successfully representing the citizens of Colorado for over 23 years and has a strong reputation throughout the state. Contact us to find out how we can help you and your family.