Facing criminal charges is a frightening prospect, but even more so for a minor. A criminal conviction can have a detrimental impact on a Tennessee minor's life, affecting everything from college to future career opportunities. Confronting these charges effectively by securing defense help in a timely manner could prevent these negative consequences.
If you're a parent, and your child faces criminal charges, or you're a minor and concerned about your future, you have options. Many minors face charges related to drugs or alcohol, and you can both defend against these types of offenses and protect your interests. You don't have to face this alone.
Minors facing drug-related charges
Drug-related offenses committed by minors can bring serious consequences. If your child face accusations of violating the Drug Free Youth Act and is between the ages of 13 to 17, he or she could face the following penalties if convicted:
- First offense: License suspension for one year or until the minor turns 17, whichever is longest (may apply for withdrawal of suspension after 90 days)
- Second offense: License suspension of two years or until the minor turns 18, whichever is longest (may apply for suspension withdrawal after serving one year)
A license suspension may not seem like a big deal, but it could affect getting back and forth to school and going to work.
Underage possession of alcohol
If an individual under the age of 21 possesses alcohol, he or she could face the following penalties for a conviction:
- First offense: One year license suspension or until the offender turns age 17, whichever is longest (may apply for suspension withdrawal after 90 days)
- Second offense: License suspension of two years or until the offender turns 18, whichever is longest (may apply for withdrawal of suspension after one year)
Some minors do not understand the serious nature of simple possession. Even if he or she did not consume alcohol or get behind the wheel of a vehicle, it could still resutl in serious penalties.
Underage drinking and driving
In Tennessee, a person between the ages of 16 and 20 caught driving with alcohol in his or her system could face the following penalties:
- License suspension for one year with no restricted license available
- $250 fine
- Possible public service work ordered by court
Any individual facing criminal charges is in need of defense representation, regardless of his or her age or nature of the alleged offense. If you are a minor facing drug or alcohol related charges, or the parent of a minor in this situation, there is much at stake. Your freedom and future are worth protecting, and it is beneficial to approach your legal situation with your long-term interests in mind.