Teens who share drugs may be held responsible for related crimes

Because of advances in technology, it’s easier for teens in Texas and elsewhere in the country seeking controlled substances to find ways to do so. While marijuana and alcohol are still the main substances illegally obtained by teens, some young people within this age group are also experimenting with prescription drugs, potent narcotics, and various street drugs. Teens typically obtain drugs by pooling their money together, getting them from a friend who has access to drugs, or stealing prescription drugs from medicine cabinets at home.

Regardless of how drugs are obtained, teens sharing them with others can be charged with serious drug crimes. It’s also possible for charges to be brought against anyone who may be considered a party to drug-related crime, including victims’ friends, siblings, and parents who may have had knowledge of drug-related activities. For instance, one teen and two classmates faced murder charges after LSD passed along to a friend resulted in a fatal OD.

Even if a teenager or young adult isn’t actively selling drugs, they may still be held responsible if a friend who used those drugs accidentally overdoses. One young adult was sentenced to nearly a decade in jail after drugs he shared with a friend at a party resulted in that friend’s death. The National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens reports that overdose deaths among teens are on the rise. The number of prescription drug ODs alone doubled within a two-year period, according to a report on teen drug use.

Because drug crimes can have serious consequences, even for teenagers, it’s advisable for charged individuals to get an attorney on board as quickly as possible. Depending on the circumstances involved, a lawyer preparing a defense for a client facing drug-related charges may claim a Fourth Amendment rights violation if there might have been unlawful search and seizure involved. In some instances, it may be possible to claim drugs shared at a party did not belong to the charged individual. Another possible legal defense is to question the reliability of witnesses who accused a teen of being the one that shared drugs.