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Are parents liable for a child’s drug crime?

As a parent, you probably expect your child to get into some forms of trouble as they grow into adulthood, but, of course, hope that this trouble is relatively tame and not criminal in nature. However, when you receive the phone call or knock at the door informing you that your child committed a drug crime, it is certainly normal to be very concerned about this variety of trouble.

Drug crimes committed by minors may carry legal consequences not only for the child, but potentially for the parent as well, depending on the nature of the crime and the direct or indirect nature of the parent's involvement. If your child recently received drug charges, you have numerous reasons to take the matter seriously and build a strong legal defense as quickly and effectively as you can.

An experienced defense attorney offers excellent guidance in these matters, and can ease your fears or build a strong defense to protect your rights in the event that you need it. It is also worth considering the consequences your child may face. In many instances, the punishments for drug crimes are surprisingly harsh when compared to just about any other non-violent crime. A child who receives a conviction may find the rest of one's young life difficult to get back on track.

Parental liability

While a parent is not generally liable for a child's crimes, the legal consequences may shift when it comes to drug crimes. If a child consumes illegal substances and the parent knowingly or even unknowingly supplies these substances, then the parent may face liability for resulting damages or criminal acts.

For instance, if you have some illegal drug in your home for your own use and your child finds it and consumes it, or throws a party while you are absent and uses it, then you may face liability for resulting damages and injuries.

Similarly, if your own poor parenting contributes to your child's drug use, then a court may see fit to punish you for negligence or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. You may face even harsher penalties if a court believes that you encouraged your child to participate in illegal behavior.

Protecting yourself and your family

If you face charges, then it is likely that your child also faces charges. Be sure that you understand the steps you wish to take to protect yourself and your child from punishment for drug violations. A conviction for either you or your child could make it difficult to obtain or retain employment, housing and custody. Do not hesitate to take the actions necessary to protect yourself and your child.

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