My child has been charged with possession of a small amount of drugs. Will this ruin his or her future?

Possession of even a small amount of any drug—including marijuana—can result in serious consequences for a minor. While a lack of prior offenses and the status of a person as a minor can influence sentencing, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, and possession of most other controlled substances is a felony—all of which go on your permanent record. For first-time offenders, there are diversion programs such as 7411 or Holmes Youthful Trainee Status (HYTA) that can keep a young person’s record clean, and an experienced attorney will explore all possible defenses in order to prevent a conviction.