Graduating high school is a big accomplishment, and many teenage graduates plan elaborate celebrations for this major life milestone. However, three teenagers are facing drug charges in North Carolina after heading to beach week, following their graduation from high school. All three are 18-years-old.

The incident began when their car was pulled over by police on NC 87. The traffic stop was reportedly instigated after police say the teens’ vehicle was going 76 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. After pulling the vehicle over, police claimed they detected the smell of marijuana and commenced a search of the vehicle.

In the search police found what they claim was marijuana, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, beer, hard liquor and thousands in cash. The teens reportedly stated to the officers that they spent a year planning for their outing to beach week and that they combined their funds to purchase the items in the vehicle. The teens are now facing a variety of charges, including underage possession of liquor and malt beverages, the illegal transportation of alcoholic beverages, felony possession of marijuana and cocaine and other drug and alcohol related charges.

These charges are very serious, especially since the accused are still young and have their whole futures ahead of them. Being convicted could mean time behind bars, fines and a criminal record that could make it difficult for them to rent a home or further their education. Teenagers in situations like this may need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can assess the facts of the case, provide sound legal advice and they can represent their clients both in and out of court, in an effort to secure their client’s freedom.

Source: WJLA, “3 Va. teens arrested on drug and alcohol charges on the way to beach week,” June 22, 2017