Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Scranton & Surrounding CountiesAvailable 24/7, Nights, Weekends & Holidays | Affordable Payment Plans | Free Consultations
Firm Logo

Luzerne County Juvenile Drug Charges Lawyers

Luzerne County Juvenile Drug Charges LawyersLuzerne County Juvenile Drug Charges Lawyers

Juvenile Drug Offense Attorney in Kingston, PA, Represents Minors Charged With Possession, Distribution, and Other Drug Crimes in Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and Throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania

Even for underage offenders, drug crimes are a serious matter in Pennsylvania. While some leniency is possible, especially when you have seasoned Luzerne County juvenile drug charges lawyers advocating for you, the charges you’re facing right now could affect your future.

As frightening as this situation is, knowing that you have someone with experience on your side can make the legal process less mysterious and less scary. Muckler Law, LLC, is here to help your family move forward after juvenile drug charges have been filed. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Juvenile Drug Charges in Luzerne County, PA

The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act outlines dozens of potential drug offenses in Pennsylvania. The offenses that most commonly lead to juvenile drug charges in Luzerne County and the surrounding areas include possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, selling or trafficking drugs, and manufacturing drugs. One of the most serious drug charges a minor could face is a form of criminal homicide charge known as drug delivery resulting in death.

A juvenile drug charge still poses potentially harsh penalties. For any type of charge filed against an underage offender, it’s in your best interests to consult knowledgeable Luzerne County juvenile drug charges lawyers.

How Are Juvenile Drug Cases Handled in Pennsylvania?

For many juvenile offenders, a drug charge could result in less serious penalties, such as community service, probation, and mandatory counseling or attendance of a drug abuse program. Other, more serious offenses could pose penalties such as house arrest or placement in a juvenile detention center. In some instances, an underage offender may be tried in adult court rather than the juvenile court.

Although the priority of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment, it would be a mistake to approach juvenile drug charges as anything less than a serious legal matter. Drug charges against both minors and adults in Pennsylvania are a big deal, and the best path forward when facing PA drug charges is hiring a knowledgeable juvenile drug offense attorney in Kingston, PA.

Areas Our Luzerne County Juvenile Drug Charges Lawyers Serve

From our office location on Market Street in Kingston, our legal team serves all of Luzerne County and beyond, including:

If you’re looking for an experienced juvenile defense lawyer to fight drug charges in Northeastern Pennsylvania, you can turn to us for guidance you can rely on and a commitment to developing a robust defense strategy.

Juvenile Drug Possession Charges

Just possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia could get a minor in trouble with the law. You (or your underage child) may be facing juvenile drug possession charges if accused of any of the following:

  • Having in their possession illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates like heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, and ecstasy
  • Possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription, including OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, Adderall, and Xanax
  • Having in their possession any instruments or objects for the purpose of drug production or use, including instruments for growing, compounding, or manufacturing controlled substances or for injecting or inhaling drugs

Although simple possession is one of the less severe drug crimes, you should still retain a knowledgeable juvenile drug possession attorney to defend you against this charge. The consequences can still be significant, especially if the underage offender has a prior record. Hiring a juvenile drug possession lawyer can help you explore all options and seek a path, like a diversion program or a sentence of probation, that results in less harsh juvenile drug possession penalties in Pennsylvania.

Juvenile Drug Possession With the Intent to Distribute Charges

When a juvenile is accused of selling drugs or intending to do so, the consequences can become more serious. Having a large volume of drugs in your possession, as well as materials like scales for measuring drug quantity and bags or containers in which to place drugs for sale, might provide law enforcement and prosecutors with evidence to charge you with drug possession with the intent to distribute.

Juvenile Charges for Manufacturing Drugs

Manufacturing drugs is another illegal activity in Pennsylvania. Charges for manufacturing drugs might stem from growing marijuana or participating in the manufacture of methamphetamine, for example.

Juvenile Delivery of Drugs Resulting in Death (Homicide) Charges

Statute 18 Pa. C.S. Section 2506 of Pennsylvania criminal homicide law establishes a crime of intentionally selling, delivering, dispensing, or administering a controlled substance that results in someone’s death. A minor accused of selling, trafficking, delivering, or distributing a drug that causes a fatal overdose or otherwise leads to death could potentially face first-degree felony charges for the crime of drug delivery resulting in death.

This is a particularly serious legal situation. A first-degree felony homicide charge could be transferred from juvenile court to the criminal justice system, and the minor offender could be tried as an adult. If this occurs, a conviction could result in decades of imprisonment. Although other juvenile drug charges can pose the potential for significant consequences, this charge, in particular, can ruin a young person’s life.

What Happens in Juvenile Court in Pennsylvania?

Assuming an underage offender is charged as a juvenile, their case will be resolved through the juvenile court system. In juvenile court in Pennsylvania, a case may be resolved formally, through a proceeding held before a judge or a hearing officer, or informally. However, the majority of juvenile cases (65%) in Luzerne County in 2022 were resolved through some form of informal disposition (per the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Caseload Statistics).

Informal dispositions of juvenile offenses include:

  • An informal adjustment, during which the minor continues to live at home but must follow probation rules for up to six months, after which the charges can be dismissed
  • A consent decree, or an agreement made after a delinquency petition has been filed that may suspend proceedings for up to six months (unless extended by the court) during which the minor lives at home, is supervised, and must adhere to the conditions of the agreement

If the court system is not willing to offer a minor offender options like informal adjustment or if the terms of probation are violated, the next step in the juvenile court process in PA is adjudication. A judge will hear the minor’s case and determine whether to adjudicate the juvenile defendant as delinquent. If deferred adjudication is awarded, the minor must complete all requirements issued by the judge, and the charges against them can be dropped.

Otherwise, a judge may adjudicate the minor as a delinquent and impose penalties. Although being adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile is not the same as being convicted of a crime as an adult, having this on your record can affect your life in ways that are similar to a criminal conviction, including impacting your future employment prospects. For serious delinquent acts, such as repeated drug offenses, a minor who has been adjudicated delinquent may be placed in a juvenile detention center. For less serious delinquent acts, confinement penalties ordered may take the form of house arrest.

Can a Minor Be Tried as an Adult for Drug Crimes in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania law (42 Pa. C. S. Section 6355) allows for offenders age 14 and up to be tried in the adult court system if the charge against them constitutes a felony offense and a case may be made that doing so serves the public interest. When juveniles are tried as adults for drug offenses, the circumstance usually involves either repeat offenses or very large quantities of drugs. Being tried as an adult allows for harsher penalties if convicted of a crime, so retaining a skilled criminal defense lawyer is even more important in this instance.

Contact the Luzerne County Juvenile Drug Charges Lawyers at Muckler Law, LLC, Today for a Free Consultation

Underage crimes can have serious consequences in Pennsylvania, but a juvenile drug offense attorney in Kingston, PA, can help families dealing with these legal matters pursue more positive outcomes.

For help from a juvenile drug offenses attorney in Luzerne County, PA, contact Muckler Law, LLC, online or call 570-908-4069 today.

Juvenile Drug Charges Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Logo IconLogo Icon
Quote IconQuote Icon
Great lawyer handled my case in a blink of an eye

“Attorney Muckler handled my hearing and I was very happy with the outcome. He is very easy to talk to and a great guy. I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Muckler LogoMuckler Logo
570-908-4069Map + Directions© 2024 Muckler Law, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Site Map.Disclaimer.