Balancing your studies and a social life as a college student is certainly a challenge. In this tough but exciting new environment, you might turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of fun or stress relief.
However, possession of controlled substances can greatly affect your life. You are working really hard in school so you likely want to avoid any unwanted contact with the criminal justice system.
1) University sanctions
If you rely on student aid to fund your education, you may lose awards such as student loans, federal grants or work-study programs. Depending on your financial situation, this can detrimentally affect the continuation of your studies until your eligibility for aid returns.
The school might kick you out of student groups or sports teams. For violating the student code of conduct, the university board might place you on probation, expel you or require you to attend drug counseling.
Overall, your reputation at your college, at your place of work and in the community could suffer.
2) Criminal convictions
The specific penalties for drug possession conviction varies depending on the charge and type of substance you possessed. Consequences of a conviction range from fines to prison sentences.
Even a minor misdemeanor possession charge will still show up as a “drug abuse” or “drug possession” charge on a background check.
3) Limited opportunities
A criminal record may limit your job and graduate school prospects. Certain industries avoid employing people with a conviction on their record. Additionally, competitive master’s programs may bar you from attending because of your university record or criminal charges.
Working with an experienced attorney to advocate for your rights may help minimize the consequences of a drug charge.