What Should I Do If My Adult Son or Daughter Was Arrested for Drug Charges in Oklahoma?

A bottle of pils spilled on the table.

Discovering your adult child has been arrested for drug charges in Oklahoma throws any parent into a world of uncertainty. The immediate question is often, what should I do? This situation can be overwhelming and emotionally charged, but it’s crucial to remain calm, take the necessary steps to support your child, and navigate the legal process. It’s important to remember that your child is likely feeling scared and vulnerable, and they need your support now more than ever.

At Cannon & Associates, we are dedicated to criminal defense cases, including drug charges in Oklahoma. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case. We are here to help you during the legal process and support you every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been arrested for drug charges in Oklahoma, don’t wait – contact us today by calling 405-657-2323 to schedule a free consultation and get the legal representation you need.

Immediate Actions After Your Child’s Arrest

The moments after learning of your child’s arrest can be chaotic and overwhelming. It’s a critical period where every decision you make could significantly impact your child’s future. Setting emotions aside and focusing on immediate actions is vital to protect your son or daughter’s rights and interests. These actions include securing a criminal defense attorney, advising them to remain silent, and gathering as much information as possible about the arrest and charges.

Finding a skilled criminal defense attorney is the first step you should take, such as the team at Cannon & Associates. A lawyer will guide you through the criminal justice system and build a robust defense strategy for your child. Remember, every second counts, and early legal intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case.

In the meantime, urge your child to stay silent until their attorney arrives. This important step, protected by the Fifth Amendment, helps avoid self-incrimination. Then gather as much information about the arrest as possible. This information will be invaluable to your attorney when crafting a defense strategy.

Contacting a Criminal Defense Lawyer

After your child’s arrest, it becomes paramount to engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The stakes are high in drug-related offenses, and without legal experience, individuals may find it challenging to understand the criminal justice system effectively. Keep in mind that seemingly indefensible allegations can be combated with a well-structured defense, and a lawyer can significantly impact the resolution of a drug case.

An experienced defense attorney can:

  • Dissect the complexities of various laws, rights, and potential defense strategies
  • Provide general criminal defense experience
  • Offer specific experience in drug laws

Securing a seasoned attorney from a reputable firm like Cannon & Associates is a prudent decision that can positively influence the outcome of your child’s case.

Advising Your Child to Remain Silent

During the arrest and interrogations, your child has the right to remain silent, and they must exercise this right to avoid self-incrimination. Remind them to maintain silence until their attorney is present. Although the situation might be stressful and confusing, resisting the urge to make any statements can prevent misinterpretations or misunderstandings.

Your child needs to comprehend the importance of cooperating with law enforcement while refraining from answering any questions without legal counsel present. They must bear in mind that their statements can be used against them in court. Therefore, it’s better to stay silent and wait for the attorney, despite any pressure from the police.

Gathering Information

Once you have secured a lawyer and advised your child to remain silent, the next step is gathering information about the arrest. This includes:

  • details about the location
  • specific charges
  • potential witnesses
  • any other relevant circumstances

This information becomes invaluable when the defense attorney formulates a strategy that prioritizes your child’s best interests.

The more information your attorney has, the better they can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and build a strong defense. For instance, attorneys from Cannon & Associates can work on excluding evidence obtained illegally, ensuring the prosecution bears the burden of proof.

Understanding Oklahoma Drug Charges

Drug offenses in Oklahoma can range from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies, and comprehending these charges is essential for effectively navigating the legal process. Common drug offenses include possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trafficking. It’s worth noting that in some cases, individuals might choose to plead guilty to lesser charges in a bid to receive a reduced sentence, especially when the evidence against them is overwhelming.

Oklahoma’s drug laws categorize controlled substances into Schedules, with Schedule I and II drugs at the top of the list due to their high potential for abuse and dependence, which in turn leads to more stringent penalties. The penalties for drug crimes can be quite severe and tend to escalate if the arrest occurs near protected zones, such as schools or childcare centers, where the charges can be even more serious.

Drug Possession Charges

In Oklahoma, possession of drugs can be classified into two types: actual and constructive. Actual possession is when the controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is found on the person, while constructive possession is when the CDS is in an area under the person’s control, such as their car or home. Understanding this distinction is important, as it can significantly impact the defense strategy.

Simple possession of a CDS is classified as a misdemeanor, with potential penalties of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Possession of Schedule I or II drugs with the intent to distribute constitutes a felony, and the charges do not depend on the quantity of the substance involved. Penalties can be more severe if the drug-related offense occurs in a drug-free zone, making it imperative to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking involves the possession of drugs with the intent to sell or manufacture them. This illegal activity presents serious societal and criminal implications. In Oklahoma, the threshold amounts for drug trafficking charges can vary depending on the drug type. For instance, possession of more than 20 grams of methamphetamine can lead to drug trafficking charges, while for marijuana, the trafficking threshold is set at 25 pounds or more.

These charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison for a first offense, and penalties can escalate to a life sentence for subsequent offenses. Fines can range from $25,000 to $500,000 in addition to prison sentences, making the stakes incredibly high. However, the final amount can vary significantly based on the unique circumstances of each case. In some cases, drug trafficking charges can result in both state and federal charges, potentially involving federal agencies such as the FBI or DEA.

Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment, product, or material intended for use in handling controlled dangerous substances, such as cultivating, manufacturing, processing, or using illegal drugs. Examples of drug paraphernalia include:

  • marijuana cultivation kits
  • scales
  • bongs
  • roach clips

In Oklahoma, possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor on the first offense, with penalties including up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A second or subsequent criminal conviction can result in fines up to $10,000 and a 3-year suspension of the driver’s license, adding to the severity of the punishment for drug possession. Please be aware that legal regulations, including potential dollar amounts, may change over time. For the most current and accurate information, consult with legal assistance from Cannon & Associates to ensure accuracy in your specific situation.

The Adult Court System

Once you have a grasp of the charges, you now need to learn the intricacies of the adult court system in Oklahoma. This system, though designed to ensure justice, can be daunting for those unfamiliar with its workings. Depending on the severity of the charges, the case could be tried in the adult court system.

The adult court system in Oklahoma includes arrest, detention, and adjudication processes, ensuring legal representation for individuals and the right for their parents or guardians to be present during the criminal preliminary hearing and court proceedings. It’s important to understand this system and its implications on your son or daughter’s criminal offense to ensure they receive the most appropriate and fair treatment. 

While drug charges and first-degree murder charges are very different in terms of their nature and potential consequences, the adult court system in Oklahoma is similar in handling these criminal offenses. It is essential to have a skilled attorney who can provide effective legal representation and protect the rights of the accused, regardless of the specific charges they are facing.

Addressing Parental Concerns

As a parent of an adult son or daughter facing drug charges, the situation brings a unique set of concerns and challenges. You might be wrestling with complex emotions such as disappointment, worry, and fear for what the future holds for them. It’s crucial to navigate these times with a balance of support and accountability.

Preventing repeat offenses involves understanding the underlying issues surrounding the initial drug charges and addressing them with appropriate actions. This could include therapy, support groups, or other forms of intervention.

Holding Your Child Accountable

As a parent of an adult child facing legal troubles, particularly drug charges, you find yourself in a nuanced position. Legally, you’re not required to intervene or provide assistance. Yet, the instinct to help your child through difficult times often prevails. It’s a delicate balance between wanting to protect them and understanding the importance of letting them face the consequences of their actions.

Setting boundaries is crucial in this context. It’s about providing support without enabling destructive behavior. This distinction is vital for their personal growth and understanding of accountability. By discussing the situation with them, you can express your willingness to help but also make it clear that this support is not unconditional and is aimed at facilitating their rehabilitation and better decision-making in the future.

Working with a legal professional to explore alternatives to incarceration, such as drug treatment programs or community service, can be a proactive approach. These options hold them accountable and offer a path to rehabilitation. It’s important, however, to ensure these alternatives are not seen as an easy way out but as a serious commitment to change.

Preventing Repeat Offenses

As a parent of an adult child, emphasizing the importance of responsible choices is crucial, particularly when discussing the risks of drug use. It’s important to have these conversations early, but remember, as adults, they are fully responsible for their actions. Your role is to guide and support, not to control or prevent future offenses.

Open communication can strengthen your relationship and promote better decision-making. However, should they face another offense, understand that you are not legally responsible. Your support is valuable, but the ultimate responsibility for their actions and any potential change lies with them.

Recovery Options

Recovery from drug offenses goes beyond just legal proceedings. It involves assisting your child in overcoming their struggles with substance use and steering them towards a healthier, more productive life. There are numerous recovery options available, including:

  • Support groups
  • Therapy
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Counseling
  • Medication-assisted treatment

Organizations such as Al-Anon provide valuable support not just for individuals in recovery but also for their families, offering a dual path to healing. Access to peer support, confidential therapy, and counseling plays a significant role in building resilience and developing healthier coping mechanisms. While the journey to recovery can be challenging, with determination and the right support system, achieving a state of well-being and sobriety is within reach. Remember, as the parent of an adult child, your role is to offer support and encouragement, respecting their autonomy in navigating their path to recovery.

The Role of Cannon & Associates in Your Child’s Defense

Having a trusted legal partner by your side throughout this challenging journey can significantly ease the process. At Cannon & Associates, we handle drug defenses in Oklahoma, focusing on protecting our client’s rights and building strong defense strategies against drug charges. Our firm guides clients through the legal process with professionalism and care, ensuring they understand each step of their defense.

Employing an attorney from Cannon & Associates can increase the likelihood of dismissing or reducing drug charges, owing to our comprehensive approach to crafting a tailored defense. Whether it’s a minor misdemeanor or a major felony, every client receives personalized, compassionate representation designed to secure the best possible outcome.

Experience in Criminal Defense

At Cannon & Associates, we have a proven track record of defending clients against a spectrum of criminal charges. Our experience extends to several areas of criminal defense, focusing on:

  • DUI
  • Drug crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Expungements
  • Federal crimes
  • Military defense

In handling criminal defense cases, we employ an exhaustive investigation process, drawing upon evidence examination, witness consultation, and an in-depth grasp of federal criminal law to construct solid defense strategies.

Recognition of our excellence is reflected in our founder, John Cannon, being honored as a Super Lawyer and listed in the Top 40 under 40, endorsing the exceptional legal representation provided to our clients. With such experience, you can be confident that your child’s defense is in competent hands.

Personalized Legal Strategy

At Cannon & Associates, we understand that every case is unique, and so is the defense strategy. We create tailored defense strategies that respond to the unique circumstances of each client’s case. Every case is evaluated individually to identify the best possible legal and factual defenses, emphasizing the rejection of plea agreements when dismissal of charges is achievable.

Our defense approach is customized to the specifics of each case, ensuring well-informed decisions are made about defense options. Whether it’s aggressive representation in court or the negotiation of fair plea bargains, we ensure that your child’s defense is in the best possible hands.

Compassionate Representation

At Cannon & Associates, we understand the emotional impact of criminal charges on our clients and their families. We offer:

  • A listening ear and emotional support to our clients during tough legal battles
  • A focus on building a better future for our clients
  • Clear explanations of legal issues and options

Our attorneys support our clients and their families through challenging times.

When you choose Cannon & Associates, you’re choosing a legal partner who:

  • Fights for your family’s rights
  • Supports you emotionally throughout the process
  • Understand that you’re not just dealing with a case; you’re dealing with your child’s future
  • Is here to help you secure the best possible outcome.

Contact Us

Facing drug charges can be a daunting experience. From the moment of arrest to the court system and addressing parental concerns, every step matters. It’s crucial to act promptly, secure an experienced criminal defense attorney, and gather as much information as possible about the charges.

Understanding the nature of the charges and the court systems in Oklahoma can provide clarity and help you make informed decisions. Holding your child accountable, preventing repeat offenses, and exploring recovery options are key elements in guiding your child toward a better future.

Partnering with a reputable firm like Cannon & Associates can make a significant difference in resolving your son’s or daughter’s case. Our experience, personalized legal strategy, and compassionate representation are invaluable assets in your child’s defense. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and with the right legal partner, you can handle this challenging period with confidence and hope. Call us today at 405-657-2323 for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the law on drug possession in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, any possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is illegal unless prescribed by a doctor, and is categorized into five schedules based on their potential for abuse. Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute is a felony with serious consequences, including a mandatory minimum of two years in prison.

How to get a drug trafficking charge dismissed in Oklahoma?

To get a drug trafficking charge dismissed in Oklahoma, you must work with your criminal defense attorney to prove that your rights were violated and that evidence supporting your case was illegally obtained, or win at trial.

What amount of drugs is considered trafficking in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, trafficking in illegal drugs is determined by specific substance amounts, such as 25 pounds of marijuana, 20 grams of amphetamine or methamphetamine, and 28 grams of cocaine. These criteria elevate the charge from possession or distribution to trafficking, considered the most serious drug offense in Oklahoma.

Why is it important to hire a criminal defense attorney?

It is important to hire a criminal defense attorney because they can navigate the legal system, ensure the protection of your rights, and establish a strong defense strategy.

Can drug paraphernalia charges affect future opportunities?

Yes, a conviction for drug paraphernalia in Oklahoma can have long-term consequences that affect future opportunities. This includes potential difficulties in finding employment, securing housing, and qualifying for educational loans or scholarships. It can impact professional licensing and increase the severity of penalties for any future offenses. It’s essential to have a criminal defense attorney who can help minimize these potential impacts.

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