As a parent of a teenager, you are often faced with difficult decisions. Teenagers commonly do not consider the consequences of their actions, and you, as a parent, can be left trying to clean up a real mess. Sometimes, the best option is to help your kids out. Other times, you need to sit back and let them deal with the consequences of their actions.

A pending drug charge is not a situation in which you want to leave your teenager on his or her own to handle things. The potential consequences could become life-altering. Your teen will need guidance and support to minimize the impact of these charges on his or her future.

Texas takes juvenile drug offenses seriously

Most people know that everything is bigger in Texas, and that often includes the criminal penalties for crimes. While our culture, on a whole, has started to consider drug offenses relatively minor, the Texas penal system does not share that lenient attitude.

Your teenager could face jail time, probation, fines and other consequences even for simple possession charges. Just a small amount of marijuana could mean a criminal record that causes issues for many years to come, in addition to the criminal penalties assigned in court.

A conviction or guilty plea could mean the end of your teen’s college dreams

Many careers these days require a college education just to receive consideration for a position. If your teenager has aspirations to work in a field that requires an education, he or she will likely need some federal student aid to make that happen.

College costs are increasing, and most college students simply cannot make enough money to cover the cost of tuition by working while attending school. Your family may want to help, but with high tuition rates, you may need student loans, grants or scholarships in order to pay.

Unfortunately, even the lowest level drug possession charge can preclude your child from receiving any kind of federal student aid. The application that all schools require, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, specifically asks each applicant if there is a drug conviction on his or her record. If the answer is yes, you can expect no help from the federal government for paying for college.

Clearly, this is a huge issue that you need to take seriously. A proper criminal defense can help your children combat these charges or perhaps arrange a situation in which they plead guilty to a non drug offense, thus ensuring their continued eligibility for student aid. Every situation is different, which is why it is important for you to help your child by exploring the best options for your specific situation.