For many young adults, college is their first time away from home and their parent’s watchful eyes. One reckless mistake or even being in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to drug-related charges. Although these charges may seem minor, a conviction can have long-lasting consequences on their future and their ability to complete their college education. Depending on the amount of drugs in the student’s possession at the time of their arrest, they could face misdemeanor or felony drug charges. These can carry hefty fines and long jail sentences, especially for large amounts.
This may be the student’s first encounter with law enforcement, so it is important to understand the consequences of drug charges beyond jail time and fines.
FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
If a student is convicted of a drug crime, they could lose their federal financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students must disclose on their FAFSA form if they were convicted of a drug crime while they were receiving federal financial aid. If so, they must fill out a worksheet that determines if they are still eligible for aid. If they are not eligible for aid, they can regain it by completing a drug rehabilitation program or passing two random, unannounced drug tests.
Students who are convicted of a drug crime mid-semester may immediately lose their financial aid and have to pay back any financial aid they have received.
COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY PENALTIES
The college or university may impose additional penalties, depending on the nature of the crime. These could include suspension or expulsion. If the student is an athlete, they may be dropped from the team.
A drug conviction can also affect a student’s eligibility to attend graduate school. Some graduate programs, such as law and medicine, may disqualify a student based on their criminal conviction.
DRIVER’S LICENSE REVOCATION
Many students rely on their personal vehicle to go to and from classes. A student’s driver’s license can be revoked for a drug conviction, even a minor possession charge. This may limit their ability to attend class and complete their education, especially in rural areas where public transportation is limited.
If a student is able to complete their education after their drug conviction, they may have difficulty finding a job in their field after graduation. Some industries are reluctant to hire someone with a drug conviction include law enforcement, nursing, education, and law.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If you or your child are attending a college or university in Alexandria, VA or Washington, D.C. and are facing drug charges, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at S.L England, PLLC. These are serious charges and should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can affect the rest of your life. Our attorneys will build the strongest defense for you and we can represent you in any level court. Call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.