If your child is a college student, they may think that it's perfectly normal to experiment with various recreational drugs. Whether or not drug experimentation is a regular component of the American college experience, it is still illegal and can lead to serious penalties if your child receives a drug possession conviction.
When you first hear that your child received cocaine possession charges, you may experience a number of emotions, which is understandable. These are serious charges, and deserve a serious response.
However, you should also consider that your child's future faces serious jeopardy. In Indiana, cocaine possession carries very heavy penalties, and many opportunities they currently enjoy may evaporate instantly.
While drug use is illegal, the penalties are far harsher than the crime. Even if you experience enormous frustration with your child, you may also appreciate that making a foolish (and common) college kid mistake should not dictate the next decade or more of their life.
Now is probably not the time for a tough love approach. Rather, you should consider using any tools you have at your disposal to help your child protect his or her future so that they have the opportunity to make wiser choices later on. You will want to examine the details of your child's charges and build a strong defense.
The legal penalties are shockingly severe
In Indiana, even a very low level conviction of cocaine possession results in at least six months of jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. That is the starting point, and the sentences only get more severe from there.
This means that your child's college education may halt abruptly, as might any scholarships your child currently receives.
Even in the event that your child somehow avoids jail time, he or she may lose scholarships that make attending college possible.
The social penalties are also harsh
The reality of drug convictions is that they close many doors to opportunity. Yes, your child may not finish college, which is rarely a benefit when it comes to good employment.
Beyond the threat to your child's education, a drug conviction closes the door to many employment opportunities. The vast majority of jobs available to those without college degrees refuse to hire employees with drug convictions on their records.
Similarly, many rental companies do not rent apartments or houses to individuals with drug convictions on their records.
Suddenly, your child's bright future is much dimmer. No matter how frustrated you are with their choices, it is wise to consider how unfair the punishments for this foolish mistake are before you decide how to respond.