Going to Juvenile Court for Drug Possession and Sale in Illinois

Illinois does not take drug use or possession lightly, but when it comes to drug sale or trafficking, the penalties can be life-altering. Trafficking a Schedule IV substance like Xanax can result in six or more years in prison, while heroin, a DEA schedule I substance, is a serious felony that can result in spending 15 to 30 years in prison in addition to $25,000 in fines. For a 15-year-old, that can be life-ending. So, what happens when a minor is caught in possession of, or trafficking, an illegal or controlled substance? We will look at our model family to learn more about that here.

Drug Use and the Model Family

Our model family is full of upstanding community members and exceptional students. However, when the parents’ marriage hit the rocks, the kids were sent into a free-fall. Left without the supervision and care that they were accustomed to, the previously straight-A students and impressive athletes quickly fell in over their heads. The son threw parties full of drugs and alcohol, getting high-school aged guests pulled over for DUI, and causing a felony DUI accident himself, while his sister has become addicted to Oxycontin and Heroin, and is rumored to be dealing Oxycontin, as well.

Because the daughter is 15, she will be tried in juvenile court. It is important that she be represented by a lawyer, because if her court-appointed advocate is not familiar with the system or her case, it could cost her the opportunity to remain free of jail and correctional facilities and to get her life back on track. Without the intervention of an attorney, the daughter could be looking at serious jail time. In the event that she is charged as an adult, she could be looking at 30 years or more in jail. However, if her attorney makes the case that she has a substance abuse issue that she is willing to work on, the court may refer her to the Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Program.

Eligibility for the Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Program

In order to be eligible for this program, the daughter must not have committed any violent crimes, must not deny drug use, must express willingness to actively participate in the program, and must not have been adjudicated for committing a violent crime (even as a juvenile delinquent) over the past 10 years. As part of the plan, the daughter will be thoroughly assessed and a treatment plan will be created for her. The plan will typically last 12 to 18 months, during which time the daughter will have to continue appearing in court and attending high school. After the daughter has completed at least 12 months of the program, and has been free of drugs and alcohol for at least six months, she can graduate from the program. At this point, the original charges will be dropped.

Contact Glasgow & Olsson to Schedule a Consultation

If your child is facing drug charges, our lawyers can help them get their life back on track and keep their record clean. Contact Glasgow & Olsson today to schedule a consultation.

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