Defending Juveniles Charged with Drug Crimes throughout Oklahoma
Despite parents’ best efforts, children may inevitably come into contact with dangerous and illegal drugs as they grow older. Unfortunately, even briefly possessing a controlled substance as a minor can result in life-altering consequences. You will need a skilled legal professional by your side to fight for your future if you have been accused of any type of drug crime.
With a complete understanding of the law, the compassionate team at the Shoemake Law Firm can walk you through your defense options when you are facing drug-related criminal charges. Sheila Shoemake is an experienced Oklahoma City juvenile drug crime lawyer who knows how these cases are decided and how to effectively advocate for her clients. She is extensively familiar with the nuances of the juvenile criminal process and regularly leverages her knowledge to pursue optimal outcomes. No matter the severity of the charges, you will benefit from her unwavering dedication, exceptional level of communication, and fierce negotiating ability.
Call (405) 451-1372 or contact the firm online to schedule a free initial consultation. The firm also offers same-day appointments and provides its legal services in English, Spanish, and French.
Understanding Oklahoma’s Drug Schedules
Oklahoma classifies each type of controlled substance under a “schedule,” or category. These schedules are identical to those currently used by the federal government. Some schedules are considered more serious than others and may consequently lead to more severe charges and punishments.
Schedule I drugs include:
- Synthetic Marijuana
Schedule II drugs include:
Schedule III drugs include:
- Many types of steroids
Schedule IV drugs include:
- Other types of benzodiazepines
Schedule V drugs include:
- Robitussin AC
- Other compounds containing opium and/or codeine
Types of Drug Crimes in Oklahoma
A juvenile can be charged with many types of criminal offenses if they are suspected to have possessed, consumed, transported, sold, or produced drugs. Some more serious charges may even be pursued at the federal level, especially if controlled substances cross state lines.
The Oklahoma City juvenile drug crime attorney at the Shoemake Law Firm can assist you with many types of offenses, including:
- Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. A juvenile may face simple possession charges if law enforcement finds a drug on their person (or in their home or car) but does not believe there is evidence to suggest the juvenile planned to distribute the drug. A minor facing this charge can in many cases be charged as a juvenile delinquent, limiting the potential impact of an unfavorable verdict.
- Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute. Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with an intent to distribute is a much more serious charge. It may be imposed if there is evidence that the defendant was in the process of selling or transferring ownership of the drugs to someone else. The quantity of drugs involved does not matter.
- Possession of Paraphernalia. In Oklahoma, it is illegal to possess a device or instrument that is used to grow, process, distribute, or consume drugs (without an applicable medical or professional license). This means the possession of bowls, blenders, scales, syringes, pipes, and other tools associated with consumption, growth, or distribution could lead to criminal charges. Possession of paraphernalia is often considered a relatively minor offense, but it can still lead to incarceration.
- Distribution of Drugs. Distribution of a controlled substance involves someone transferring ownership of drugs to one or more other persons in situations where an agency relationship exists. An agency relationship refers to a situation where there is an established organizational structure for the distribution. Drug distribution is a very serious offense that can lead to harsh penalties, as juveniles may be charged as youthful offenders.
- Manufacturing a Controlled Substance. This charge may be pursued if someone takes any part in the growing, preparation, processing, testing, or packaging of a controlled substance. This offense is always charged as a felony.
- Trafficking a Controlled Substance. A person may face trafficking charges if they have a sufficiently high quantity of an illegal drug on their person, in their home, or in their car. In these situations, law enforcement (and prosecutors) will typically assume the defendant is “trafficking” the controlled substances. These charges may also apply if someone brings a large quantity of drugs into the state, distributes a high quantity of drugs, manufactures a high quantity of drugs, or recruits a minor to participate in a drug operation.
- Drug-Related DUI. Many people associate a DUI, or “driving under the influence,” with alcohol consumption. It is illegal to operate a vehicle when under the influence of any mind-altering substance, including most controlled substances. A person will be arrested for DUI if any level of a Schedule I substance is found in their body. Keep in mind that marijuana is technically a Schedule I substance. Driving after taking certain types of prescribed medication is acceptable, even if that medication contains a controlled substance, so long as it does not affect your driving ability.
Should I Consent to a Drug Search in Oklahoma?
If law enforcement visit you at your home, pull you over, or stops you while you are on a walk, they may ask to conduct a search. You do not have to consent to a search, and it is almost never in your best interest to do so, even if you are confident there is nothing to find. A law enforcement officer may pressure you if you initially deny their request, perhaps asking if you have something to hide. Remain calm but firm: You are rejecting their request to search your person, home, or vehicle. Do not say anything else, and if they continue to request a search, ask to speak to a lawyer.
Law enforcement officers have a right to search if they have a warrant or probable cause. In other words, if they have some legitimate reason to believe you may be in actual or constructive possession of drugs, they can generally search your person, home, or vehicle without your express permission.
If law enforcement conducts a search and finds one or more controlled substances, exercise your right to remain silent and immediately get in touch with an Oklahoma City juvenile drug crime attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the team at the Shoemake Law Firm may be able to negotiate a warning, dismissal, or minor penalties, such as community service. If charges are pursued, Sheila Shoemake will do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome.
If you or your child has been charged with a drug crime, do not wait to call (405) 451-1372 or contact the firm online. The team also assists clients in Oklahoma County, Grady County, Pottawatomie County, Pain County, McClain, and Lincoln.
“Sheila kept us informed as to her approach to resolving this matter which kept us at ease. She was receptive to receiving additional information that came to us and followed through.”- Former Client
“The people that work there are really responsive and nice. I got some good advice and when I was done I had a outcome that I was really happy with.”- Hope F.
“Expediency, effectiveness, and affordability all rolled up in a truly positive experience.”- Melissa Z.
“Shoemake will always answer her phone and your questions.”- Chuck L.
“She genuinely cares about her clients and is always professional.”- Former Client