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Can college students face major consequences for drug convictions?

College students have the tendency to engage in risky behaviors and activities, from drinking to exploring recreational drugs. The period is notorious as a time for experimentation. Peer pressure may play a big role on their decisions, and they may think that since they are still students, their actions might not have serious consequences.

Unfortunately, even college students who experiment with drugs and alcohol can face criminal charges. If in this situation, you could also suffer serious criminal consequences that may affect not just your college education, but your future as well.

You may face disciplinary action

If you face allegations of a drug crime, you may opt to plead guilty to avoid jail time, but this may not be the best course of action. The consequences do not end with your conviction. The school could discover the conviction, particularly if the arrest were on campus. Depending on the policy in place, you may need to appear before a disciplinary board that may kick you out, expel you, or impose other penalties.

A criminal conviction may have grave consequences on your ability to get or maintain a scholarship as well. The school may not consider you for a scholarship, refuse to grant you an already existing scholarship the next time you apply or cut it off prematurely.

You may lose federal student aid

Apart from potentially facing expulsion or penalties, a drug conviction may also make you ineligible for federal student aid. There is a field on the form that you fill out for the student aid that asks if you have any criminal convictions. Another field specifically asks about drug-related convictions. Answering yes to either of these questions may disqualify you from federal scholarships or grants. It may also prevent you from participating in federal work-study programs. You may also lose the ability to take federally funded student loans.

A criminal conviction in college may alter the course of your future. Thankfully, you have options. Allegations of wrongdoing are just the beginning. Defense strategies are available. Knowing your options and proactively protecting yourself can reduce the risk serious criminal penalties.



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