People get prescriptions for all kinds of issues, and they often have the potential to be abused. Having these drugs in your home might be commonplace, but you couldn’t have expected your child to take those drugs and start giving them out at school.

They might have known what the medications were for, but they may not have had any idea that the substances were controlled. In your mind, they were trying to be kind to others and help friends who were dealing with their own issues, but the school has a different opinion.

This also applies to non-prescription drugs or other items your children may find around the house or have access to, such as cough syrup, illegal drugs and inhalants.

Giving away or selling drugs is a crime

When you are given a prescription drug, it’s important to understand that it is for you and you alone. If you give away the medication or sell it for a profit, then you can be accused of drug crimes.

The same goes for your child. Even while underage, it’s possible for children to face drug charges. In some cases, it might be possible to get the charges dropped or to have the situation excused if there was a clear misunderstanding or your child was very young. If you have an older teenager or child who should have known better, there could be a higher risk of legal consequences.

Likewise, possessing and distributing an illegal drug or dangerous over-the-counter medicine can lead to your child facing drug charges. The consequences can vary depending on Washington’s drug classification system.

Learning your ABCs

Juvenile offenses are ranked alphabetically in the State of Washington.

For drug crimes, most are rated at B through E, though there are some outliers. In terms of severity, crimes that fall into the A or B range are the most severe, while E-rated crimes are the least. Here are some examples:

A B-rated crime could come with imprisonment if your child has two or more prior adjudications.
A B+ drug charge could result in up to 36 weeks in juvenile detention for a first offense.
Local sanctions are most common for C+, C, D+, D or E-rated crimes until there are multiple offenses on your child’s record. Then, they could face confinement.

It’s important to know the potential penalties and where your child stands if they’re accused of a crime. Once you know the potential consequences, you can begin working to reduce them with the right legal tactics.