What will happen to my underage daughter after selling ecstasy pills at school? 27 Answers as of May 12, 2011

My daughter is 15 and she got caught selling ecstasy pills in school. How much time in jail could the judge give her?

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Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
At 15, your daughter is a minor and any "charges" brought against her would be in the nature of a juvenile delinquency petition in the family division of circuit court. Since she is not 17, she cannot be sent to jail. She could, however, as part of a final disposition, be sent to either a secure or non-secure juvenile detention center. Typically, however, if this is her first offense, she would be put on probation with certain restrictions and requirements which may include random drug testing and a strict curfew. In a juvenile delinquency proceeding, your daughter would have the right to an attorney, either retained by you or her or appointed by the court if she could not afford an attorney. If you want further information, contact us.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/12/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
It may be possible to get an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. This means the case will be adjourned for 6 months or 1 year and if she does not get in trouble again, the case will be dismissed. If she does not get an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal she may be able to get it reduced to a violation which is not a crime. Also since she is only 15 she will probably qualify for Youthful Offender treatment which means the conviction will be vacated and the records sealed. It is very unlikely that any jail time would be imposed. you should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/12/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
While this is a serious crime which carries as much time in a juvenile facility as it would for an adult, my guess is that the judge will not be that harsh. She can't go to jail as a juvenile but he could punish her with some time in juvenile hall. She will need an attorney who you can either hire or ask the court to appoint for her if you qualify for one financially.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/9/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Your daughter should be represented by an attorney who handles juvenile law matters. She will be charged in the juvenile Court. While her case could be waived and she could be tried as an adult, it is more likely that it will stay in the juvenile court. In juvenile court, the choices are diversion, probation, youth home detention or state placement, It could be as long as when she reaches 19 years old. however, I believe that this is unlikely. Should you need assistance, I handle numerous juvenile matters. You may contact me for an appointment.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/9/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Since she is a juvenile she will not go to jail. She will likely be placed on juvenile probation with conditions that my include weekends in juvenile hall. While that's confinement it is not jail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    If this is your daughter's first brush with the law, she will probably be eligible for Informal Probation (W&I 654) or Diversion (W&I 790). There will be a Detention Hearing and a Disposition Hearing. You might want to consult with a local, experienced Criminal Defense Attorney with experience in Juvenile Law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If they charge her as an adult, she could be looking at no less than a year in prison and probably more like 4 to 5 years. Plus there is an enhancement in her sentence due to the fact she was selling drugs on school grounds. I would assume she would be charged as a juvenile. In that case, she would be doing some time in a juvenile corrections facility and a whole lot of community service. Your daughter is lucky in a sense that she did this stupid thing as a kid. Still, a juvenile drug conviction will disqualify your daughter from receiving financial aid in college.

    The good news is if she never re-offends, the drug conviction be sealed. The bad news is if she was selling ecstasy or 3,4 methelinedioxitymethamphetamine or MDMA she is likely already an addict. The other bad news is MDMA is a dangerous drug that has killed kids due to water toxicity. MDMA also eats holes in the brains of users that can be seen on a PET scan. Ex is nothing to mess with. Were she my daughter, I would have her in inpatient treatment. I would also tell her not to say a word about the charges or the facts supporting the charges to anyone. This is especially true for her friends because it would come back to bite her at trial. If she hasn't talked to the police or school officials, tell her not to. She can't help herself by giving the prosecutor ammunition. The prosecutor or police may also attempt to recruit her as an informant as a way of working off the charges. Don't agree to that. She would have to plead guilty up front and would then be endangered for being a snitch. She's only fifteen and we both know how flaky fifteen-year-olds are. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Since she is a juvenile, she would likely not be facing "jail" time, nor will she be found guilty. She may be found "Delinquent," and subjected to restrictions through the juvenile court. You most definitely need legal counsel. For juveniles, the "death penalty" is state school, which could in theory last until the age of majority, but she would have to have had a terrible record, prior to this sale, to be in that position, in my opinion. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    As a 15 year old, she will be charged as a juvenile. Depending on her history she would typically face anything from diversion to 36 weeks in Juvenile detention. Please note that this is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post represents only the posters opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in the State of Washington. For more information about our law firm and services, please visit our website.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    The penalties for such offenses involving schedule I narcotics in Louisiana are 4 - 10 years jail time and fines of up to $5,000. You should hire an attorney for your daughter immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Your daughter is a juvenile. She can be charged in juvenile court for the offense, or the State could attempt to have her certified as an adult in order to charge her in adult court. The penalties in juvenile court are much different than those in adult court. It makes a great difference where she is charged and with what offense.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A sale of narcotics is extremely serious. If charged as an adult offenses, it can carry lengthy prison sentences as long as 8 years even if a first offense. Even as a juvenile, such serious charges may be charged in such a way to make them accessible to the public which can devastate a child's chances to later be accepted into college or acquire jobs. Given the significant impact of drug offenses, consulting with experienced legal counsel is imperative at an early stage so that all defenses can be explored and evidence challenged. Obviously, there are many defenses to such a charge and clearly aggressive representation is necessary to avoid or reduce potential penalties. Often, the defenses do not become apparent until all facts are reviewed and complete discovery is provided. For a free consultation, call.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    More likely than not, your daughter will not serve any time in jail. She is a minor, and should be handled through the juvenile courts. As such, her attorney will be looking for a social history on her, and in all probability, the probation department will recommend an extended period of probation through juvenile probation, and she will have certain harsh conditions placed on her during that period of probation. She will have the services of a public defender, if you are unable to hire a private attorney to represent her. It should be made clear to her that this conduct should not occur again, as her probation can be revoked and she can be sent away to prison as a juvenile.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    If your daughter is charged as a juvenile then she would be facing the removal from your home. If as an adult jail, but my guess would be that worst case she would be looking at up to 90 days.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    As you most likely know, selling ecstasy is a very serious felony offense punishable by 16 months, two or three years in prison. The fact that she was selling it at school only serves to aggravate the matter. On the positive side, she is being charged as a juvenile where rehabilitation is still a goal. As for what happens now, that depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the facts of the case, your daughter's criminal history (if any), her overall performance in school, etc. The best thing you can do for your daughter, and you, is to immediately contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney to sit down with you and your daughter and fully evaluate this case. Only then, can someone truly advise you as to what the potential consequences may be. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    The adult range for possession for sale of ecstasy in violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11378 is a felony punishable by 16 months, or two or three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. As a juvenile your daughter's case will be in juvenile court and she is looking at custodial time in juvenile hall if convicted. As a minor she has no right to a jury trial but will be tried by a judge sitting on the bench (a bench trial).

    It's difficult to provide a final answer to a question related to sentencing, since every county has different programs available. However, many judges in juvenile court will consider school performance (grades, attendance and behavior) as well as a parent statement, before making a settlement offer before trial.The typical sentencing range for a first offense as a juvenile in California, ranges from a period of probation from one year to placement in a Probation Camp setting for up to 9 months.

    Her charge is very serious as ecstasy is considered to be a dangerous drug.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Assuming she is treated as a juvenile offender, none. She could be put in a detention facility, however. Best bet is to hire the best lawyer you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    If she is being prosecuted in family court and she has no prior record, she is not likely to get any jail time. She is likely to get some community service and a period of adjustment where she must stay out of trouble.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    She may not get jail but she may get kicked out of school + for the judge she likely will get a substance abuse program and then penalties like community service.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    That's a serious offense which rises to felony status which means she is potentially facing years in prison. However, given her age, hopefully they will charge her as a juvenile as opposed to an adult. This would keep her adjudication private and keep her out of the adult system. My suggestion is to speak with or retain an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Since she is under the age of 16, there is a good chance she will be charged in juvenile court. Whether she ends up spending time in the youth center vs. some type of probation largely depends on the facts and her past criminal history.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    She will likely be charged with being a delinquent. As your daughter is 15 she will not be looking at jail, she could end up being on juvenile probation, possibly with other juvenile consequences. It is important that she get a attorney, most likely a public defender would be appointed based on her income and assets.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If she has never been in trouble before they will not give her time. They will probably just order her to go home, maybe set a curfew, etc. Tell her to leave Ecstasy alone. Like LSD it can be quite dangerous from time to time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If charged with a felony, you potentially face one or more years if convicted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If she is under 19 she is eligible for Youthful Offender treatment and will not have a criminal record if the judge considers it appropriate and she has no prior convictions. She will likely get 5 years probation and will not serve a jail sentence unless she violates probation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/6/2011
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