Listed below are a sample of the questions parents may have when their children are suspected of drug use. Also listed, are resources to help your children if they are arrested for possession of drugs. The information below is merely a reference to help parents in a time of crisis. Contact legal advisors and the appropriate agencies for legal advice and guidance.
Responses From the Prince George's Police Department
* Parental Question: I believe that my child is using marijuana or some other drug. Can I force him/her in to treatment? If so, what steps do I need to take to do this?
Contact a representative of the Maryland Association of Youth Service Bureaus at http://maysb.org/ Locate the bureau closest to you for services. According to their website, the Bureaus represent a, " locally based solution for youth diversion from the juvenile justice system."
If your child has a more severe drug problem, you can petition the Prince George's County Circuit Court located at 14735 Main Street Upper Marlboro, MD for emergency help. The phone number to the Court is 301 952-3318.
* Parental Question: My child was stopped by the police and they found a small amount of marijuana in his/ her car. What happens next?
Your child would be subject to arrest and prosecution. The vehicle they were in may be impounded or subject to forfeiture depending on the amount of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) that was recovered.
* Parental Question: Where will they take my child?
Your child (if under 18 years of age) would be taken to our Juvenile Processing Facilities located at the District III station where they would be processed, (fingerprinted, photographed, arrest paperwork completed). If your child is involved in a crime where he/she could be charged as an adult, they would be transported to the Department of Corrections for processing.
* Parental Question: Will he/ she be given the chance to call me?
The arresting officer will notify a parent or legal guardian after arrival at the Juvenile Processing Facilities regarding the arrest and instructions on picking up the child.
* Parental Question: Will he/she have a lawyer?
Your child would not be entitled to a lawyer, unless the arrest involved an interrogation or questioning of the arrestee.
Answers provided by:
Corporal Henry Tippett #2727
Prince George's County Police Department
Press Information Office
Responses From Juvenile Division
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office
* Parental Question: How much does it cost to get my own lawyer for my child?
Most youth who are charged are represented by the Office of the Public Defender. The parents of those children have to submit paperwork about how much they make and they have to qualify. Some parents do obtain the services of private attorneys but I am not quite sure how much they charge.
* Parental Question: What will the prosecutor do with this information?
Once a child is charged, the Police submits the arrest report to the Department of Juvenile Services (“the Department”). The Department in turn submits the paperwork to the Office of the State’s Attorney (“SAO”). Once the paperwork is submitted to the SAO, the State determines whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to court. If so, the State files a Petition, the case is arraigned and a Merits (trial) date is scheduled. If the State believes it does not have enough evidence, it will decline to prosecute the child.
* Parental Question: Who will hear the case?
The Honorable C. Philip Nichols, Jr. is the Judge in charge of Juveniles. He presides over the juvenile cases. The Honorable Herman C. Dawson acts as the back-up judge who assists Judge Nichols with the juvenile cases. When both Judge Dawson and Judge Nichols are away, other Judges are assigned to oversee the juvenile cases.
* Parental Question: Where will the case be heard?
The Juvenile cases are heard in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, sitting as a Juvenile Court, located at 14735 Main Street in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
* Parental Question: How can we get this information off his/her record?
Juvenile cases are sealed and should not appear on the juvenile’s record.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Yvonne Cunningham below.
Former Chief, Juvenile Division of Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office
14735 Main Street, Suite 3405,
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772