As a parent, one of your chief mandates is to protect your children, and this extends even when they're old enough to fend for themselves. If you've learned that your teenager is involved in drugs, you should be making repeated efforts to help him or her with this habit — for example, by arranging a bed in a local in-patient treatment center. Your teen's involvement in the drug would could lead to run-ins with the law, and if your teen is facing a drug charge, your first instinct might be to try to help. Some parents will attempt to do so by trying to put the charge on themselves — for example, by stating that drugs found in the home or the family vehicle belong to them, not their teen. Here are some reasons that this is a bad idea.
You Don't Want A Criminal Record
Should you take a drug charge for your teenager, you'll want to hire a criminal defense attorney who specializes in drug cases. Even with legal representation, you're still in a serious situation. If your attorney is unable to get the charge dismissed — which may be the case if the evidence is strong — you could be looking at a criminal record. A criminal record can affect your life in several ways, including threatening your ability to be employed in some cases. Protecting your child isn't worth this risk.
The Child's Punishment Would Likely Be Lighter
If the police find drugs that they suspect belong to your child, and you speak up to take the charge yourself, you may be looking at a punishment that would be more than your child would receive. Many first-time teen drug offenders are required to attend rehab or do some community service. It's unlikely that your teen would face jail time because of his or her status as a minor. As an adult, however, your penalties could be steeper, and you may even be looking at additional charges, such as contributing to the delinquency of a minor by having drugs in your home.
It Won't Be A Wake-Up Call
Many teen drug users need some type of wake-up call to realize that they're headed down the wrong path. If you protect your teen by taking the charge, he or she won't get this wake-up call and continue to use drugs. It's difficult to see your teen in legal trouble, but this situation may end up being a blessing in disguise for him or her.
If your child is in trouble with the law, make sure that you hire a criminal defense attorney quickly.