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Five ways drug crimes can ruin your college life

If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time when illegal drugs are involved, you may lose all you've worked hard to achieve in college. Whether you are caught up in a drug bust, your dorm is raided or your roommate is caught with drugs, you may be subject to arrest. A drug crime conviction will not only expose you to the possibility of expensive fines or jail, your education may also be in jeopardy.

A minor drug charge can lead to a lifetime of regrets. Don't assume that you will be deemed innocent by a judge even when it is clear to you that the charge shouldn't stick. You have far too much at stake, including the following potential consequences.

One: You may lose your federally funded financial aid and become ineligible for student loans

Any federal or state drug crime conviction - such as possession, conspiring to sell or distribution of an illegal drug - can disqualify you from obtaining any type of federal student aid, including:

  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work-study opportunities
  • Scholarships

Possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana is still a Class D misdemeanor despite the recent law changes in Missouri. Although you likely won't go to jail (unless you have a prior record), it is still a criminal conviction.

Two: You may lose your eligibility for scholarships

Every school has different rules regarding how drug or alcohol charges and convictions can affect remaining or future eligibility for scholarships. Privately funded scholarships may be withdrawn should you behave in a way that is deemed to be of poor character by scholarship committees.

Three: You can lose your dorm room or your RA status

A conviction can lead to the loss of your position as a residential advisor (RA), dorm monitor or other type of counselor or mentor position. Additionally, you may lose eligibility to live on campus altogether in Missouri.

Four: You may fail classes, lose college credits or jeopardize your graduation

Time in jail or a long, drawn-out criminal process can keep you from attending classes, completing labs and homework, taking quizzes and showing up for finals. Schools and individual instructors have varying rules regarding attendance and class work. They might be less lenient if the reason for your absence is known.

Five: You may be suspended or dismissed from your school

Some institutions of higher learning have zero-tolerance policies regarding drug convictions. Not only do you risk dismissal, you may not be allowed to return at a later date. And, there is no guarantee that your college credits will transfer to another college or university.

If you are facing drug charges, don't leave your future to chance. Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney who will advise you of your options and guide you through the legal process.

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