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Illinois Penalties for Juvenile Possession of Drugs

Posted on in Drug Crimes

IL defense attorneyChildren who are exposed to drug usage at a young age are more likely to start abusing drugs themselves. Adults who possess or use a controlled substance can face felony charges which leads to fines, jail time, and probation.

Juveniles who are caught in possession, or using, drugs will not face felony convictions because the Illinois court system focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The hope is to steer young adults away from drug use before they get into real trouble after reaching full adulthood.

Illinois Drug Laws

Juveniles face the same drug rules that adults do, except that tobacco is also considered a “controlled substance” because nicotine is addictive. In July, Illinois raised the legal age to purchase cigarettes and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old.

As for marijuana and other drugs, there is zero-tolerance for minors to possess or use drugs. Adults who are caught selling drugs to minors face twice the amount of jail time than if they sold to another adult. The minors are punished by:

  • Drug counseling for the minor and their parents.
  • Probation in that a minor will be required to attend check-in with a probation officer while also attending school regularly and participating in community service. If the minor is of legal working age, they will also be required to maintain a job.
  • Complete a diversion program which is similar to probation, but less formal because the minor will not have to go through juvenile court to have their probation requirements ordered.

Only in serious cases - or repeat offenses - will a child be sent to detention for drug possession. Aside from a juvenile detention facility, a minor offender can be sentenced to home confinement, foster care, or sent to a juvenile home.

Defending Against Juvenile Drug Charges

While the crime will not usually see a child sent to jail or have a permanent blemish on their record, it is still serious when a juvenile is convicted of drug possession. It can be difficult for the child to receive acceptance into a good college, enlist in the military, or eventually land the job of their dreams.

This is why minors and their parents should seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who can investigate whether or not:

  • The minor’s rights were compromised in an illegal search and seizure.
  • The minor knew that they were in possession of a controlled substance; prosecution must prove this in order to convict.
  • The police involved acted professionally throughout the arrest of the minor.

A lawyer can also help the parents of the child if it is found out that the adults involved were also in possession of controlled substances. This could lead to child abuse offenses if the parents used the drugs around the minor.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Crimes Attorney

Minors have their whole lives ahead of them and a possible drug conviction could change the course of their lives. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help make sure a minor avoids serious punishment from a drug charge. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County drug crimes lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

https://norml.org/laws/item/illinois-penalties

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-becomes-1st-state-in-midwest-to-raise-tobacco-age-to-21/

 

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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