Being accused of a crime can have serious consequences that many teens may not be aware of. Some may think because they are a juvenile the consequences will be minimal and their record will not follow them into adulthood. The fact is that if you are convicted of a crime that conviction can impact a multitude of events in your life, including educational and employment opportunities. One North Chicago teen may have learned this the hard way after being arrested on drug charges by Waukegan police.
The arrest came about after a traffic stop near Lincoln Avenue and 8th Street that was initiated by a K-9, according to reports. The juvenile was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by an older sibling who was not charged in the case. Police said officers searched the juvenile and found eight bags of marijuana or cannabis that appeared to be individually packed for distribution or sale. Police say the teen told them he was selling the drugs for $5 per bag. Perhaps that wasn’t the teen’s first mistake.
Many criminal defense attorneys instruct their clients to not speak with authorities until they have obtained legal representation. The reason is that a person, especially a young person thinks that by cooperating with the police and discussing their case it may help them, when more often than not what they say can and will be used against them in court. Even if you think it is a minor offense in which you are accused it is important to know your rights, including the right to a vigorous legal defense against the charges.
Although the teen has been released into the care of his parents he may be facing stiff penalties that neither he nor his parents fully understand. Possession of drugs is a serious offense, but when you include possession with the intent to sell those drugs, the charges can be much more serious and entail incarceration as well as future rehabilitation and drug treatment, which can be very costly. The long-term consequences of a drug conviction should not be addressed lightly.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will review every aspect of a case, including whether the drugs were obtained in an illegal search and seizure by authorities. An attorney looks for inroads in an effort to get the evidence thrown out or the charges reduced or dropped completely. It is important to have an attorney put an actual person behind the charges in any criminal case and that includes juvenile cases as well.
Source: Daily Herald, “North Chicago 14-year-old charged with having cannabis during traffic stop” Lee Filas, Sept. 20, 2012
- Our Waukegan, Illinois, law firm handles an array of criminal defense matters, including juvenile crimes involving drug possession similar to the one discussed in the above story. Please visit our Lake County juvenile defense page to learn more about us.
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Waukegan police arrest North Chicago juvenile on drug charges