Flaherty Defense Firm, Fort Walton Beach Criminal Lawyer
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Juvenile Drug Charges in Destin.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015 at 9:53 pm    

Florida’s no tolerance drug policy leaves little room for alternatives when it comes to a conviction for drugs. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to act fast and get help.

What are the penalties for possession of drugs by a juvenile?

Provided your child is arrested for a misdemeanor, the penalties are up to one year incarceration and fines. Those penalties are the maximum that the State of Florida can give your child for a conviction of misdemeanor drug or paraphernalia possession. For felony possession the penalties are significantly worse. A third degree possession felony, the lowest degree of felony, has a maximum incarceration of up to five years. The sentences for drug offenses are harsh and not rehabilitative.

What can a parent do to protect their child?

If you are reading this, your child has already been arrested or charged with some form of drug possession. You are probably angry at your child for their actions and the trust established between you and your child has been broken. You may be filled with more questions than answers at this stage. What you do to handle this situation from this moment will change your child’s future forever. Your actions or failure to act will be with your child for the rest of their life.

Your child has the right to a future and you deserve answers.

We are parents ourselves, so we understand what a tough time this must be for your family. In this situation, knowledge is definitely power. We offer answers in a non threatening environment. No sales pitch. No scare tactics. Just common sense advice from one parent to another.

Someone told me that juvenile cases are not that serious. A juvenile crime is sealed, right?

That statement is true in part and false in part. If your child is arrested for a juvenile drug crime and the charge remains in juvenile court, the record will eventually be sealed from the public eye. However, the record will not be sealed from law enforcement in the event your child gets in trouble in the future.

What can a juvenile attorney do to protect my son or daughter?

In the juvenile process there are several phases. Each phase builds on the next until we reach final disposition. Each phase is vital to achieve the desired outcome.

Phase 1: In phase 1 your son or daughter has just been charged with drug possession. We will meet with both you and your child and discuss the alleged crime, potential outcomes, and your child’s plans for the future. This stage is important because we need to understand the family background and dynamics, we need to know the details surrounding the charge and we need to hear from your child.

Phase 2: Immediately following a charge or arrest, the Department of Juvenile Justice is notified. The job of a juvenile justice probation officer is to gain insight into the family dynamic, screen your child for propensity to re-offend and offer guidance to the prosecutor and the judge about your child. This phase is the most critical element to this process. We will attend this meeting with you and your son or daughter and position your them in a favorable light. Experience and knowledge is the most critical element for this phase. We will work with you to establish rapport with the probation officer and position the case for a favorable outcome.

Phase 3: This phase generally involves communication between the State Attorney, the probation officer and our team. During this phase we build mitigation and supporting background information. Our goal at the conclusion of these meetings is to have a clear understanding of the facts and evidence against your child, a solid back story about your child and potential resolutions outlined to resolve your son or daughter’s case.

Phase 4: The court phase. During this phase we will have a court appearance which will require both your appearance and your child’s appearance. This court date can be critical because your involvement as a parent to this point will show the judge your eagerness to make sure your child is held accountable but also not treated unfairly.

Phase 5: The final phase is the disposition phase. By this point we will have met with you and your son or daughter several times, discussed the case in detail with probation and set a plan to resolve the case with the State Attorney. This phase dictates the outcome of your child’s case and once again we will appear in the presence of the judge to convey the agreed resolution. The judge will review the proposed resolution and the case will be resolved through an agreement, program, pretrial diversion, or a trial.

Very few law firms in Destin bring the level of experience and dedication to juvenile cases that we do. At Flaherty Defense Firm we understand the position you are facing right now trying to (1) enforce parental rules; (2) protect your child; (3) find the best possible help for your child and (4) make sure the outcome does not destroy your child’s life. Our firm has represented many juveniles facing drug charges. Let our experience guide you and your child through the system and put your lives back together.

When your son or daughter’s future is at stake, Flaherty Defense Firm can give you the help you need. If your son or daughter has been charged with drug possession in Destin, call us today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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