From shock to strategy: What should I do if my child is accused of selling drugs in Washington?

We have many goals when raising our children. We may have dreams of them competing in professional sports or solving the world’s problems, but we tend to root the foundation of our parenting goals in their safety and wellbeing. Nothing can shake that foundation quite like the news that officials have accused our child of committing a crime.

The weight of these types of allegations bears heavily not just on the child, but on the entire family, threatening futures and dreams so carefully nurtured. In this moment, it is crucial to harness this concern into constructive action and informed decisions. You can serve as your child’s strongest advocate and ally through this challenging time. The following will provide some steps to help you begin this journey.

Step 1: Understand the potential impact of the charges

Drug distribution charges are severe, especially for minors. They can lead to:

  • Detainment in juvenile facilities
  • Significant legal penalties, including fines or community service

These allegations can also impact educational opportunities, at elementary, middle, high school and beyond. Most colleges include a provision within their student code of conduct that allows for suspension or dismissal of those who are found responsible for this type of crime. Although an investigation may not warrant these repercussions, a conviction likely would.

Step 2: Take action

It is helpful to keep records of all conversations and encounters related to the case.
One of the best things you can do to help your child is seek legal counsel.
An attorney can review the evidence against your child and tailor a defense strategy to their specific case. Legal counsel can also work to help protect your child’s rights throughout the process.

Beyond legal concerns, it is also important to offer your child emotional support. This can include:

  • Reassurance: Maintain open communication and remind your child that you are there for them.
  • Counseling: The child may find the process of dealing with these allegations traumatic. You play an important role in this process and sometimes that means bringing in a team to help offer additional support. Consider professional counseling to help your child cope with stress and anxiety.

An accusation of selling drugs can have lasting implications for a young person’s life. As a parent, take immediate action to secure legal representation, educate yourself on the process, and support your child both legally and emotionally. With the right approach, you can work your way through this challenging time and help your child move forward.