You may already be aware drug charges in Knoxville carry stiff penalties. But you may not understand how a criminal drug conviction can impact your college student’s future. College can be a fun and exciting time for many young adults, but it can also be a time where they make big mistakes that can alter the course of their lives.
If your child is facing drug possession charges, you should take immediate action to protect her or his future. You may expect for the judge and prosecution to go easy on your child because it is her or his first time being in trouble with the law. Even if the courts are lenient, there is still the lingering aftermath to deal with. Take some time to learn how a criminal drug charge can derail your student’s progress in school.
Jeopardizes financial aid
Federal financial aid has strict eligibility requirements. A criminal drug charge does not immediately disqualify your student. Unless convicted, students can still retain their eligibility. If that charge ultimately results in a conviction during the time they are receiving financial aid, they will no longer qualify for it. There is a suspension period that goes into effect from the date of the conviction. Since it is your child’s first drug possession offense, he or she will need to wait one year before requalifying for federal financial aid. The school may also have additional stipulations regarding how financial aid packages and drug possession charges.
A no-contest plea is an admission of guilt
Students may think they can enter a no-contest plea to avoid a conviction. Although a no-contest plea may be advantageous because it can keep the situation private and help avoid a trial, it does carry the same weight a guilty plea. There are some circumstances where your adult child may not be allowed to use this strategy.
Because drug charges are serious and can destroy your student’s promising future, you should consider speaking with an attorney about the situation to learn options.