For years, schools have been designated as “Drug-free” zones. That designation carries with it harsher penalties for anyone who possesses or sells drugs nearby. Despite all of the effort made to minimize the exposure of young adults to illegal substances, drug culture is still relatively prominent on high school campuses across Illinois and the country as a whole.
Regardless of the community, chances are very good there are at least a few students who are using illegal drugs recreationally. There are also probably a handful of students who are happy to supply friends or classmates with certain drugs.
Whether your teenager tried to sell someone else’s prescription medication or gave their friends a small amount of marijuana or cocaine, the end result could be serious criminal charges. Depending on the age of your child and the substance involved, they could face either juvenile or adult charges related to drug distribution or trafficking.
Financial gain is less important than the act of supplying a drug
You and your teenager may both wrongly assume that because there was little or no financial gain involved in the transaction that the risk of serious penalties is minimal. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Just because you don’t make money on a drug transaction doesn’t change the illegality of the transfer.
The act of providing someone with a banned or controlled substance is an act of distribution. Furthermore, if your teenager traveled with the drug in question, that could lead to allegations of trafficking as well. If someone wound up hurting themselves or others under the influence, that could further complicate the charges a seller or supplier could face.
The courts in Illinois typically do not wink at youthful drug offenders. Instead, they tend to punish youthful offenders harshly. In many cases, teenagers accused of drug sales or distribution could face charges as an adult. That could mean spending many years of their life in prison and facing the reality of a criminal record that haunts them permanently. Additionally, a drug offense conviction will probably mean that your child permanently loses the ability to qualify for federal student aid.
Help your teenager look to the future by building a defense
Mistakes as a teenager shouldn’t completely alter the course of your child’s life. Working with a criminal defense attorney who understands Illinois drug law and the way the courts handle juvenile offenders can improve your chances of minimizing the impact of a drug offense on your child’s life.
Instead of leaving your child to face the consequences of their actions alone, you should make sure they understand the severity of what has happened while also helping them to move past the incident that resulted in their arrest.