High School and College Cases in Columbus, OH
Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer for Young Clients in Alcohol and Drug Cases
If there is a strength within our alcohol and other drug practice, it is working with high school and college kids. Attorneys Fran Ward and Brad Koffel have an ability to reach our younger clients and effect behavioral change, better judgment while getting a taste of real-world consequences for bad decision-making.
Drug paraphernalia, marijuana possession, underage drinking, and felony charges populate our practice. If you want a more intensive handling of your son or daughter's criminal case that increases the chances of diversion, dismissal, or reduction in charges, then our firm may be what you need. We represent teens arrested through drug testing in high schools, as well as out-of-school arrests.
Most juvenile court systems treat drug and alcohol violations about the same. First offenders can expect a drug or alcohol program, a license suspension of 6 months and up, a fine, and probation with a probation officer as well as random urine screens. The collateral consequences are significant. What hits your child's record is a conviction / adjudication that may impact federal student loans, the military, and pre-employment background checks. In the event they re-offend, it just gets worse.
CASE RESULT: Our young client was accused of raping a female classmate while at the
high school. Our client was immediately expelled from school and charged
in juvenile court. After 9 months of litigation, the case was eventually
settled with the rape charge being amended to felony assault, a non-sex
offense. The client was placed on probation and ordered to remain in counseling
to gain insight in sexual behavior and appropriate boundaries. (Z.R., 2018).
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Our typical plan lasts 90-120 days and consists of the following conditions:
- We let him/her know bluntly that they are done experimenting with drugs/alcohol. Game over.
- They just forfeited any privacy to their cell phone, computer, room, car and other personal property.
- They are now subject to random professional drug testing (not the CVS kits that are easily beaten)
- A curfew is now imposed - 10:00pm, every night.
- These restrictions can be stepped down based upon 100% compliance with our terms as well as an attitude adjustment consistent with remorse and maturity.
What We Do For Families
What we do for our families that we represent is impose pre-court conditions (a-e above plus any extras that make sense based upon our interview of the young client). Our investigator and lawyers supervise the client through random urines, parent-reporting, and a GPS tracker on the vehicle (if the parents want it) with a real time interface that the clients can access online (bread crumb trails, geo fencing, speed history, stop time history).
We then leverage this program into a Diversion with the court to keep the client's record clean. The goal of all this? If the client passes our program and the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the charge. Clearly, prosecutor's are under no obligation to dismiss any charges or agree to diversion.
Juveniles and Crime
From underage drinking and possession of alcohol to drug possession and DUI, there are a variety of factors that have been determined to affect young people and crime, including the youthful desire to experiment. Parents need to be reminded that the normal adolescent development includes rebellion, experimentation, and rejection of parental values. Just as toddlers exhibit an awkward gait while learning to walk, teens will clumsily try to become an adult on their own terms. Typically, we see this start around freshman year of high school and really take a life of its own in the junior and senior years of high school.
ADD and ADHD Involvement
It should also be noted that kids with ADD/ADHD, depression, and learning differences are at an increased risk of being charged with a crime. This is attributable to lack of impulse control or mood management with alcohol and other drugs. Teens who take Ritalin, Adderall, or some of the other stimulants to battle ADD/ADHD may stop taking it because they do not like how it makes them feel. Many parents have mixed feelings about medicating their kids to begin with. As a result, teens who stop taking their prescriptions jump to alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs to feel "happy" or "normal."
Unfortunately, in many cases, what was probably a one-time incident or lapse in judgment becomes a criminal case. It is important that the punishment is commensurate with the crime, and in many cases the lesson is learned by the time the arrest and booking procedure is completed. In cases of juvenile arrests or the arrest of college students for a drug crime or mischievous act, it is necessary to contact a Columbus criminal lawyer for students to assist with the case and fight for alternative sentencing.