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South Carolina teen facing 6 felony drug charges, avoids prison

An 18-year-old boy recently stood before a judge facing six felony drug charges. A senior in high school who, last fall, stepped up and took over as his school's starting quarterback, faced a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. Instead, he was given a second chance to turn his life around and remain free to pursue his future educational and life goals.

In exchange for pleading guilty to three of the six felony drug charges, the judge overseeing the case sentenced the teen under South Carolina's Youthful Offender Act. In an attempt to rehabilitate youthful offenders, the 18-year-old is required to complete a "juvenile drug court program". If he remains on the straight and narrow, after five years the teen's criminal record will be expunged.

The felony charges against the teen stemmed from school surveillance video footage which captured him selling marijuana to another student. Upon his arrest, police officers discovered additional amounts of marijuana on his person as well as in his home. The arrest was the 18-year-old's first and, since that time, he has graduated from an alternative high school and taken steps to obtain help for his drug problem and better his life.

The teen's attorney described her client as "very motivated" and praised the judge for taking her client's age, background and specific circumstances into consideration when deciding sentencing. Speaking before the court, the 18-year-old thanked the judge for giving him a second chance.

This case provides a positive example of how a criminal defense attorney is able to frame a case and provide for a favorable outcome. When it comes to juvenile offenders who are facing drug charges, it's crucial to have a legal representative who has successfully had drug charges dismissed, reduced or brokered favorable plea deals.

Source: The State, "Ex-South Pointe quarterback pleads guilty to 3 drug charges," Jonathan McFadden, May 14, 2014 

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