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What Happens if My Teen Is Arrested for Smoking Marijuana?


Although many states have legalized marijuana over the last decade, recreational marijuana is still illegal in Ohio. However, even in places where recreational marijuana is legal, there is a group of people who cannot take advantage of its legality: teenagers. Today, The Meranda Law Firm will discuss what happens to teens who are arrested for smoking marijuana in Ohio. 

The Different Justice Systems

Before we discuss the penalties an Ohio teen may face for simple possession charges, we have to understand that the juvenile justice system is different from the criminal justice system.

The criminal justice system was built on the idea that rehabilitation is possible: but this goal is often accomplished through strict punishments. The law views adults as culpable for their crimes, and therefore, rehabilitation may take a backseat to punishment in certain circumstances.

The juvenile justice system is different from the criminal justice system in that it’s less focused on punishment and more focused on rehabilitation. The law views minors as less culpable for their crimes, and therefore, they face minor punishments for their actions when compared to their adult counterparts.

Potential Penalties for Smoking Marijuana Underage

Someone arrested for smoking marijuana will likely be charged for simple drug possession. The severity of simple possession charges varies based on the weight of the drugs in the person’s possession.

Ohio’s marijuana possession charges are as follows:

  • Possession of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor;
  • More than 100 grams but less than 200 grams is a fourth-degree misdemeanor;
  • Equal to or more than 200 grams but less than 1,000 grams is a fifth-degree felony.

Penalties for juvenile possession charges directly correlate to the severity of the criminal charge.

Potential penalties for juveniles arrested for possession are as follows:

  • Minor misdemeanor- Maximum $50 fine;
  • Fourth-degree misdemeanor- Maximum $100 fine and up to 90 days detention facility;
  • Fifth-degree felony- Committed for a minimum of 6 months and maximum could be up to the age of 21 if the child is older than 17, a maximum fine of $300.

In addition to the penalties mentioned above, juveniles convicted of possession charges may face these consequences:

  • Community service;
  • Suspension of driver’s license;
  • Confinement in temporary or permanent custody;
  • Drug or alcohol treatment or counseling;
  • Medical or psychological treatment or counseling;
  • Probationary house arrest;
  • Required to obtain a high school diploma;
  • Curfew drug and alcohol use monitoring.

Fighting for Your Teen’s Case

While a simple possession conviction will certainly lead to some form of punishment for your teen, it’s possible to hire an experienced juvenile defense attorney who can defend your teen’s case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will examine the facts of the case to determine the best approach to fight for your teen’s rights.

The Meranda Law Firm has more than 15 years of experience handling criminal cases, and attorney Rossia Meranda has extensive knowledge in juvenile court cases. If you have a loved one that needs defense due to simple possession charges, look no further than The Meranda Law Firm!   

Call (614) 707-4239 now for a free consultation!