Any drug possession is a sensitive issue, especially when it centers around juveniles. Sometimes, young people find themselves in a precarious situation. While they did break the law, the legal system still wants to emphasize rehabilitation for these offenders. Whether you are a parent or a young individual, you need to understand the juvenile drug possession laws in Ohio. 

Juveniles and the Ohio Criminal Justice System

The Ohio juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation, education, and intervention over corrective measures. Yes, there are still implications for the person’s actions. However, the goal is to steer these offenders away from criminal behavior and towards a more positive future.

In the state, individuals under the age of 18 are considered juveniles. Some cases can be transferred to adult court. Often, this depends on a few factors, such as the severity of the offense and the juvenile’s criminal history.

Since the system emphasizes rehabilitation, diversion programs are usually used in juvenile drug possession cases. These efforts keep young offenders away from formal court proceedings. Instead, they are provided with educational and rehabilitative opportunities.

The Juvenile Court System

The case goes through the juvenile court system when a juvenile is charged with drug possession in Ohio. These hearings are less adversarial than adult criminal court. 

Like adult crimes, the consequences for these cases can vary based on the following:

  • The type and amount of drugs involved
  • The juvenile’s age
  • Any previous criminal history

Often, the individual will be sentenced to probation, counseling, community service, or substance abuse education programs. 

Do Juveniles Have the Same Rights As Adult Offenders?

Juveniles have constitutional rights that must be protected throughout legal proceedings. They have the right to legal representation, remain silent, and protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. Since this court system is less adversarial than the adult one, offenders still need legal assistance. An experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure rights are upheld, and the juvenile is treated fairly under the law.

Along with legal help, parents or guardians play a role in the juvenile justice process. Their involvement is not only encouraged but often required. Sometimes, parents may be required to attend court hearings, participate in counseling sessions, or contribute to developing a rehabilitative plan for the juvenile.

Can These Offenses End Up in Adult Court?

In certain circumstances, the juvenile court may waive jurisdiction and transfer the case to adult court. This happens when the offense is serious. The juvenile’s rehabilitation is sometimes better served within the adult criminal justice system.

Can a Conviction Affect the Juvenile’s Future?

Any drug possession conviction can impact a young individual’s future educational and employment opportunities. However, expungement may be an option for younger offenders. With that, the courts seal the juvenile records, giving them a chance for a fresh start.

These Cases Have Special Considerations

Understanding juvenile drug possession laws in Ohio can be complicated. For this reason, any young offender and their parents or guardian will want to secure the services of a legal professional. A skilled attorney can help to protect their rights and get them into a rehabilitation program. With that support, they have the opportunity to make positive life choices.
At Hunt Law LLC, our legal team has successfully defended these cases. To arrange a free consultation, please contact us at 330-469-9836.