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Minors can still face Colorado marijuana criminal charges

Colorado has been leading the nation in changing the criminal laws attached to marijuana. In many ways, Colorado laws are quite progressive. In others, however, Colorado marijuana laws are just like those in states where the plant is still fully illegal.

Teenagers or college-age students found in possession of marijuana could still face serious criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, a teenager or college student could face minor in possession charges or drug possession charges. These criminal charges could haunt your child for the rest of his or her life and ruin the college experience.

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and the federal government has a zero tolerance policy toward drug charges and federal student aid. A minor marijuana possession charge could prevent your high school or college-age child from receiving any federal student aid, including grants, scholarships and subsidized student loans.

You may personally think of minor marijuana possession as youthful experimentation, but the courts and the government won't see it that way.

Federal student aid, housing and employment are at risk

Even if your child was caught with a single joint or marijuana cookie, the impact of a conviction or a guilty plea could last for life. You are going to need the advice and advocacy of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you want to protect your child's future.

An attorney can review the details of your situation and help you choose the best options. Perhaps the courts will dismiss the criminal charges if your child undergoes substance abuse counseling. Maybe it is possible to work with the prosecution to have the charges changed to a non-drug related misdemeanor if you agree to plea guilty.

It's also possible to challenge evidence or the stop that resulted in the charges. Maybe law enforcement profiled your child. Perhaps the law enforcement officers at the time violated your child's civil liberties. Your attorney knows that there are many ways to fight a drug possession charge.

Knowing the specifics of your child's situation will help an attorney provide the best choices for fighting a pending drug possession charge. Failing to do so could cut your child off from financial aid. It could also result in a criminal record that may affect the ability to find housing or a good job in the future.

An attorney's help is invaluable when a youth faces drug charges

You want your child to have a future, not to be used as an example to deter other teens from drug use. If your child is facing marijuana possession charges, you should speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.

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