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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

By the time your child leaves the nest to attend college, you probably hope the morals and values you instilled in him or her will help your child make smart choices in your absence. For many university students, however, college can be a time of experimentation, and some of that experimenting can lead to harsh and considerable consequences.

If authorities catch your son or daughter using, possessing or selling drugs, for example, and they subsequently charge your child with a drug-related crime, a conviction for that crime could cause your child to become ineligible for federal financial aid.

What crimes count?

Ultimately, just about any type of drug crime can potentially lead to a loss of financial aid, although the length of time your child will become ineligible for aid depends on the details surrounding his or her crime. Say, for example, that law enforcement officers catch your child with a small, personal stash of drugs, and it is your child’s first time facing a drug possession charge. Under such circumstances, your child will likely become ineligible for financial aid for a period typically not exceeding one year.

In situations where your college student may face a more serious drug charge, such as a drug sales or intent-to-sell charge, or if he or she receives a conviction for a drug-related offense and it is not his or her first, the financial aid-related penalty may prove more severe. In such a scenario, your child may lose his or her access to financial aid for two years, or even indefinitely.

When the arrest occurs matters

Please note, though, that exactly when your college student’s arrest occurs plays a role in whether he or she loses financial aid eligibility. To miss out on financial aid, authorities must have placed your child under arrest during a period when he or she was already a recipient of federal financial aid.

A drug conviction can bring with it serious consequences. As a parent, it may serve you well to remind your college student that the repercussions for drug crimes often become more severe as he or she ages.

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