As your high school years drew to an end, you probably grew exciting thinking about what college might bring. Certainly, you thought about your courses and career possibilities, but among the enticements of college life are the freedom, making new friends and having fun away from the supervision of your parents.
One weekend you blew off your studies and took a trip to a neighboring state where recreational drug use is legal. Maybe you decided to bring something back to campus to share with friends. Whatever the circumstances, you are now facing criminal charges that could wreck your future.
Steep penalties for drug convictions
Colleges and universities take drug use seriously. In fact, many campuses in Kansas and across the country prohibit the use of alcohol even for students who are of legal age to drink. However, the consequences of using or distributing drugs reach farther than the local campus. If a court convicts you of federal or state drug charges, you may lose any student loans or grants. You should be aware of the following facts regarding financial aid and drug convictions:
- A first conviction for possession suspends your federal aid for one year, and a second conviction for two years.
- A third conviction will cost you financial aid indefinitely.
- A first conviction for selling or conspiring to sell drugs will sever your aid for two years, and a second conviction for that charge will end your aid indefinitely.
- If convicted and incarcerated for drug charges, you may lose eligibility for some federal aid programs completely.
Any suspension of your financial aid may delay the completion of your degree or disqualify you from certain courses of study. There are ways to regain your eligibility after a conviction, for example by attending qualified drug programs and submitting to random drug tests. However, the best option is to try to avoid the conviction.
Fighting alone is not a fair fight
You have likely learned a hard lesson about the consequences of illegal drug use. However, that lesson should not have to jeopardize your entire future. With your financial aid at stake, and perhaps many other areas of your education, having professional help may alleviate many of your concerns.
Dealing with such serious charges without legal counsel may bring unintended consequences. A lawyer will be able to determine if police violated your civil rights at the time of your arrest, and fight to exclude any subsequent evidence police are using against you to minimize the negative consequences you face.