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Criminal conviction could jeopardize your college financial aid

As you undoubtedly know, having a criminal conviction on your record could have a considerable impact on your life. You may feel that this type of issue is not one with which you should concern yourself as a young college student with the rest of your life ahead of you. However, your situation may be the exact reason you should have concerns about potentially facing criminal charges.

If you are convicted of a crime at your young age, that mark on your record will follow you for the rest of your life. Additionally, a conviction for a drug crime could result in your losing federal financial aid that you may need to complete your college education. This could lead to your future turning out much differently than you had anticipated.

Timing and types of convictions

If police charge you with possession, conspiracy and sale of illegal drugs, you could lose your financial aid should a conviction take place. However, in order for this possibility to exist, you must have been enrolled in classes and using your financial aid at the time of your arrest. This means that even if a conviction takes place while you are out of school, you could still lose eligibility for grants and loans.

On the other hand, if the charges come about while you were not enrolled in classes or using financial aid, but a conviction occurs while you are enrolled, you may avoid the possibility of losing your financial aid. However, this stipulation does not apply to drug trafficking charges as a judge could specifically deny you eligibility for financial aid at any time.

Regaining eligibility status

Luckily, even if you do lose your financial aid, you could potentially have a chance to qualify again later. If this situation marks your first offense, you may regain your financial aid after a year. If you go through an approved drug rehabilitation program and pass at least two unannounced drug tests, you may not have to wait the allotted amount of time.

Defending against charges

If you hope to maintain your financial aid and avoid having a mark on your criminal record, you may want to work toward avoiding a conviction for drug charges in the first place. Exploring your criminal defense options could help you determine what course of action you feel most comfortable utilizing. Obtaining information from local North Carolina legal resources may help you ensure that you gain reliable facts.

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