Drug Crimes by Minors

As teens navigate through life they may find themselves in situations with drugs. Even with a child or a teenager, Utah has in place legal consequences for drug sale and possession. Salt Lake City’s law enforcement will not hesitate to detain a minor who is involved in drug crimes.

A drug offense can consist of:

  • Possession of a controlled substance;
  • Consumption of a controlled substance;
  • Distribution of a controlled substance; or
  • Possession of any drug paraphernalia.

Many juveniles commit drug crimes, even if they are surrounded by a loving support group. It is hard to know your next step and to juggle legal penalties. If you or your child has been charged with a drug crime in the greater Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo metropolitan area, it is in your best interest to contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law.

Salt Lake City Attorneys for Juvenile Drug Crimes in Utah

Often, a drug crime committed by a minor is a simple lapse of judgment. However, Utah legislation is not kind to those involved in drug offenses. Drug charges can suspend a juvenile’s driver’s license, order community service, and be required to pay hefty fines.

Have you or your child been charged with drug crimes in the greater northern Utah area? If so, it is highly recommended you contact criminal defense attorney Susanne Gustin at Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law. She is an excellent defense lawyer who is dedicated to all her cases. Susanne Gustin has represented various minors in all sorts of drug crimes throughout the greater Salt Lake County area. She has been involved in a high-profile and televised cases with positive results. Not only this, Susanne Gustin has been given the highest AV rating by Martindale-Hubbel, a peer-reviewed organization for reputable lawyers. Find an attorney who stands out. Get in contact with Susanne Gustin at (801) 243-2814 today.

Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law represents clients throughout the 3rd Judicial District Court of Utah and surrounding communities including Salt Lake City, Ogden, West Jordan, Midvale, Riverton, Provo, Farmington, and West Jordan.

Overview for Minors with Drug Crimes in Salt Lake City

Penalties for Drug Crimes by Minors in Salt Lake City

A drug offense can be overwhelming to both minors and legal guardians. Utah legislation still does punish minors who consume, distribute, or manufacture controlled substances. It is important to realize that a drug offense can result in high fines and other legal consequences.

The juvenile justice system is very different from standard Utah criminal court. Each case is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and the penalties vary from adult crimes. However, juvenile court still can place some heavy penalties on a minor and his or her family.

If a minor has been convicted of any kind of drug offense they typically will face:

  • Completion of 20 to 100 hours of community service;
    • In some cases, an approved substance abuse program can county as community service hours
  • Possible fine up to $500;
  • Suspension of the minor’s driver’s license; and
  • Other penalties may be imposed in addition to all of the above.

Take note, if the juvenile has not yet obtained their driver’s license, the issuance of the driver’s license may be delayed up to six months. A minor’s offense may be enhanced based on the circumstances of the crime. An enhancement is when a person’s offense is moved up one or more degrees based on the seriousness of the offense or repetitive referrals to the court for the same charges.

Below are some listed enhancements for any drug crime enhancement made by a juvenile.

  • Any possession, distribution, or manufacturing of a methamphetamine-based drug is a felony;
  • Possession of an controlled substance on either a school property, park, church, or within 1,000 feet of a private school is automatically enhanced one full degree;
  • A person used, carried, or possessed firearm during the offense;
  • A person used, carried, or possessed a dangerous weapon in a correctional facility during the offense;
  • A person received two or more drug-related charges;
  • A person participates a theft during the offense; and
  • The offense was committed by three or more persons;

Juvenile Drug Court in Utah

Juvenile Drug Court offers a way for first time misdemeanor drug offenders and second time alcohol offenders to address substance abuse. The Juvenile Drug Court was created to assist minors in preventing future or current addiction issues. 

You must be able to qualify to participate in Juvenile Drug Court. The guidelines for participation into Juvenile Drug Court Program are:

  • Ages 12 to 17
  • Minors must live in the Salt Lake Valley area
  • Minors crimes must be under the jurisdiction of Juvenile Court
  • No prior violent offenses
  • No outstanding fines, restitution, or community hours;
  • Minors must have a limited juvenile court history; and
  • Minors must admit to their allegations.

If the minor is eligible to participate in Juvenile Drug Court, they are given the option to attend. Juvenile Drug Court lasts up to ten months. The period of time is determined by a substance abuse evaluation.

The requirements for Juvenile Drug Court include:

  • Substance abuse evaluation
  • Tracking services
  • Random drug screens
  • Six to nine week educational program
  • Substance abuse treatment and counseling
  • Court appearances every 4 to 6 weeks
  • 60 Hours of community service per substance related offense
  • Regular school attendance

If the minor is able to complete all the standards for Juvenile Drug Court, they will have their charges dismissed. A few more advantages to Juvenile Drug Court include:

  • Cessation of substance abuse
  • No loss of driving privileges
  • Educational classes and/or counseling
  • Regular court supervision
  • Increased family communication educational classes and/or counseling.

Additional Resources

Advantages to Juvenile Court – Visit a document, made by Salt Lake County, summarizing Utah drug crime statutes and regulations for juvenile drug crimes. See the specifics regarding drug crimes by minors, how juvenile drug court runs, and other offenses and penalties for juveniles.

Breaking the Juvenile Drug-Crime Cycle – Visit a document created by the U.S. Department of Justice, and read up on how policymakers are trying to break the juvenile drug-crime cycle. See the key strategies, evaluations, take son ethnicity and culture, and additional guiding principles to attack the problem of minors using and selling controlled substances.

Find a Salt Lake City Lawyer for Drug Crimes by Minors in Utah

Drug crimes carry heavy penalties, even for minors. It is important that you retain legal representation to guide you through this sticky process. If you or your child was charged with a drug offense, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney.

Susanne Gustin is a highly  qualified criminal defense attorney. She is well-acquainted with the juvenile justice system of Utah, and understands the plights of her clients. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law has been recognized for legal excellence and admitted into several prestigious law associations such as the American Inns of Court and the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers of Utah. Susanne Gustin will go to battle for you or your child’s rights. She will do whatever she can to obtain the lightest penalty for you and your family.

Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law represent minors charged with drug crimes throughout the greater Salt Lake County and Davis County area, and surrounding counties including Tooele in Tooele County, Coalville in Summit County, Provo in Utah County, Farmington in Davis County, Ogden in Weber County, and Salt Lake City in Salt Lake County.

Call (801) 243-2814 or schedule an online appointment for a free consultation today.

This article was last updated by Jordan Anderson, on July 30th, 2018.