If you or your minor child is charged with marijuana possession, the first action you need to take is to find an experienced, skilled attorney to defend you against these charges. Though the State of Ohio has made first-time personal possession charges a minor misdemeanor, there is a great deal at stake here. Any drug conviction in Ohio could result in a suspended driver’s license, with the suspension lasting anywhere from six months to five years. In addition, a drug conviction becomes part of your permanent record and could follow you for a long time to come, ruining scholarship, employment, and tenancy chances.
Beyond a possession charge, if the charge is connected to an OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) penalties become dramatically more serious, even for juveniles.
The good news here is that there is a difference between the juvenile justice system in Ohio and the criminal justice system. Juvenile courts have a wider range of options in dealing with the juvenile offender, in hopes of rehabilitation. That being said, the juvenile is still facing serious charges that carry serious and potentially life-long consequences.
In terms of penalties, the juvenile courts have many avenues to pursue in hopes of changing the juvenile’s path. For example, the court may order the juvenile, and possibly his or her parents to attend drug counseling.
Diversion is another option, and is similar to probation. If the offender complies successfully with the diversion program, the charges may be dismissed. This is usually only an option for first-time offenders.
Probation is another punishment option. Under probation, the juvenile offender is required to comply with specific terms of probations. For example, the court can order that the offender attend school regularly; find and maintain a job; attend drug or family counseling; perform community service; or any number of other requirements. This could also include regular reporting to a juvenile probation officer or some other court officer. Probation could last six months or longer.
The juvenile court can also order detention in rare cases for drug possession. Detention may be confinement to the juvenile’s home; foster family placement; placement in a juvenile home; or placement in an actual juvenile detention center. This would generally be in severe cases of repeat offenses with other criminal acts involved.
If you or your child are facing OVI charges in connection with juvenile possession in Columbus, Ohio, you need an attorney who knows the law and can help defend you against these serious charges. Get the representation of a skilled and trusted attorney who can give you the help you need. The Maher Law Firm can make sure that your rights are protected. Founding attorney, Colin Maher, has in-depth knowledge and experience working with OVI and juvenile defense cases and he will put his skills at your service. Call The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation at 614-205-2208 or contact us online.