Future Matters.

Amanda T. Adams

Why it’s so important for college students to fight drug charges

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Uncategorized

Starting college is often a young adult’s first real taste of freedom and independence. They begin living somewhere away from home and have to make decisions about their daily life. Young adults often experiment with relationships and mind-altering substances as they adjust to college.  Some of them may flirt with irresponsible behavior, such as skipping class occasionally.

Some college students decide to try alcohol for the first time, often while they are still under the legal drinking age. Many others might try different recreational drugs. Study drugs are also a concern on college campuses, as students may buy each other’s prescription medications to help them pull all-nighter study sessions.

College students are, therefore, at elevated risk of an arrest for drug offenses. While parents may at first think that letting their child learn a difficult lesson the hard way is the best option, assisting them with defending against pending charges is usually the best approach.

Drug charges can end a college career

Depending on the school that a student attends, a conviction for a drug offense could effectively end their enrollment. Many schools have student behavior policies that prohibit criminal activity. Even if a student manages to avoid immediate expulsion, they may not be able to continue going to class if they lose their financial aid.

While drug convictions no longer make someone permanently ineligible for federal student aid, they can still affect the types of financial aid they receive. Private scholarship funds often perform background checks and do not offer support to students with criminal convictions. School-based scholarships often require involvement in extracurricular activities, including sports or honors programs, which may not allow a student to participate after a conviction.

Even if a college student avoids issues with their enrollment and financial aid, a conviction for a drug offense during college can significantly diminish the benefits derived from obtaining a degree. They may find it very difficult to secure the best jobs possible, as employers may do background checks even when filling internship positions.

A college student likely cannot truly consider the long-term consequences of a conviction on their own, as they lack the neurological development necessary to do so. They likely also do not have the financial resources to pay for legal representation. Parents who want to see their children have the best lives possible often need to help them properly manage drug charges so that they can learn from a one-time mistake instead of allowing it to determine the course of their future for years to come.