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Attorney Christopher T. Adams

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Can teenagers go to jail for drug distribution?

As a parent or guardian, it’s important to understand the consequences of your teenager’s actions, particularly when it comes to drug distribution. While it’s common knowledge that drug use and possession can lead to legal consequences, many people are unsure whether teenagers can go to jail for drug distribution.

In Georgia, the law treats drug distribution as a serious crime, and minors who engage in this activity can face serious consequences, including incarceration. Of course, the severity of the punishment will depend on the case’s specific circumstances, such as the type and quantity of drugs involved, the offender’s age and any previous criminal record.

What is drug distribution?

Drug distribution refers to selling, delivering or transferring controlled substances. Controlled substances are drugs that the government regulates due to their potential for abuse and dependency. Examples of controlled substances include heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl.

Please note that drug distribution doesn’t necessarily have to involve money or profit. Simply sharing drugs with others can be considered as distribution and carry legal consequences.

The scope of legal consequences for drug distribution

Drug distribution is considered a felony offense, and the potential consequences for teenagers range from probation, community service and fines to incarceration. However, as a guardian, you may explore diversion programs or other alternatives to jail time if your teen is a first-time offender. However, repeat offenders or those involved in large-scale drug distribution operations may face more severe consequences.

Yes, teenagers can go to jail for drug distribution. But, typically, teenagers are tried in juvenile court, where the focus is on rehabilitation and providing resources to help the teenager avoid future criminal behavior. However, if the offense is particularly serious or the teenager is a repeat offender, they may be tried as adults in criminal court.


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