Common Juvenile Drug Offenses In California

Common Juvenile Drug Offenses In California

by Sep 3, 2019

Drugs and alcohol are two of the most frequent reasons for minors being arrested. When it comes to drugs, the most common charges are for possession of drugs and drug trafficking. The types and quantity of drugs can have a significant impact on the severity of the charges, and in extreme cases may lead to a juvenile being tried as an adult.

Juvenile Drug Possession

While California has legalized marijuana use for persons age twenty-one and over, marijuana and other drugs are still illegal for minors to possess at any time. This includes drugs like:

  • Meth
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • PCP

Any juvenile caught in possession of a controlled substance may be charged with delinquency. A charge of delinquency typically results in the subject having to appear in California juvenile court.

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Juvenile Drug Trafficking

Sadly, it is quite common for gangs and drug cartels to recruit teenagers to transport drugs for them within California or across state lines. Teens are often promised the reward of cash if successful, and negligible punishment if they’re caught due to their age. The reality is quite different.

Drug trafficking includes transporting, selling, administering, or giving a controlled substance to another person. Juveniles can face drug trafficking charges for even offering to transport, sell, administer, or give drugs to another person.

Additionally, drug trafficking charges aren’t limited to street drugs. Trafficking in prescription drugs like Vicodin, Xanax, Oxycontin, or Valium can also result in criminal charges.

Juvenile Court vs Criminal Court

Juveniles charged with either drug possession or drug trafficking with, in all but the most severe cases, end up in juvenile court. The juvenile court system is different from criminal court in several important ways.

The most significant difference is that the juvenile system is based on the idea that children and teenagers may lack the maturity to make good decisions. When they make a mistake, the system is intended to rehabilitate, rather than punish and incarcerate. The goal is to try to help the young person learn to make better decisions as he or she grows into adulthood.

Hiring A Juvenile Defense Attorney

Regardless of how significant the charges against a juvenile may seem, it’s always a good idea to retain the services of an experienced juvenile defense attorney. A good lawyer can often help mitigate both the severity of the charges and the long-term impact of those charges.

At Quinnan Law, we have extensive experience helping parents and juveniles navigate the juvenile justice system to achieve the best possible outcomes for a family. To learn more about how we can help your case, please contact us today for a free consultation.


At Quinnan Law, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 540-2356.

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