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How could drug convictions impact your student financial aid?

Drug-related charges could have negative impacts on individuals of any age. However, convictions for such allegations could have differing effects depending on the stage of life you may be experiencing. For instance, as a University of North Carolina at Asheville student, a drug conviction could potentially throw your education off course in a variety of ways.

Though legal punishments for drug convictions could obviously have negative effects, such convictions could also make you ineligible for federal financial aid. As a result, you may find yourself unable to pay for your education for a certain period of time or possibly indefinitely. Therefore, you may wish to better understand how the details of your legal issues could impact the potential for lost financial aid.

When did the crime occur?

In order to lose financial aid, the timing of the alleged crime must coincide with a period in which you utilized financial aid. For instance, if police take you into custody and charge you with drug-related offenses during a time when you also attend classes, you could lose financial aid eligibility if a conviction occurs. However, if you face charges during a time when you were not enrolled in school and not using aid, you may not lose your eligibility even if a conviction occurs during the school year.

What impact do multiple convictions have?

On the bright side, a conviction does not always mean that you lose financial aid indefinitely. With a first conviction for possession, you would lose eligibility for a year, and a second conviction for the same crime would result in two years of disqualification. On the third offense, you would lose your eligibility indefinitely.

Charges for drug distribution have more strict consequences. A first offense conviction could result in your losing financial aid qualification for two years, and a second offense could lead to indefinite disqualification.

What options exist for regaining eligibility?

Even if you do lose entitlement for a certain period of time or indefinitely, you could potentially regain your eligibility. The process for this outcome involves attending an approved drug rehabilitation program and passing two drug tests.

What defense options do you have?

Though many factors could impact whether you lose financial aid eligibility in the event of a conviction, you may want to take steps toward avoiding a conviction in the first place. Creating a meaningful criminal defense could help with this endeavor, and depending on your circumstances, you may have various options. Utilizing local legal resources could help you determine your viable defense routes.

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How could drug convictions impact your student financial aid? | Messer Law Firm