A college education is pricey, and many students rely on federal financial aid to make ends meet while studying. If your teenager has been convicted of a drug charge, you may be wondering if this will jeopardize their ability to receive such funding—and if you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Find out below.
The Implications of Drug-Related Charges for Financial Aid Eligibility
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, is the primary financial aid application most students complete when preparing for college. This is used to determine a student's eligibility for federal aid, like work-study, grants, and loans. Many state governments, colleges, and universities also refer to a student's FAFSA to figure out whether they will award money from their own funding programs.
If a student is convicted of selling or possessing drugs, they may lose their FAFSA eligibility—but not always. If the student was a minor, and they were not tried as an adult, they will still be eligible. Similarly, if the student was convicted, but the conviction was reversed, they remain eligible. However, if the student was 18, tried as an adult, and the conviction wasn't reversed, they lose eligibility.
If a student is already receiving financial aid, and they are convicted of the possession or sale of illegal drugs, their financial aid eligibility may be suspended. A first offense will result in financial aid eligibility suspension of one year for possession and two years for sale. A second offense will result in a two-year suspension for possession and an indefinite suspension for sale. A third offense means indefinite suspension.
What to Do If Your Child Is Facing Drug-Related Charges
Note that even if your teen remains eligible for federal aid via FAFSA, other types of financial support—such as scholarships—may be rescinded in the case of drug-related charges. It's best to consult a criminal defense attorney regarding such legal issues. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the charges dropped, have a conviction rescinded, or get a minor's record sealed.
If your child is facing drug charges, trust Kratovil Law Office, PLLC of Charles Town, WV, for assistance. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, these criminal defense lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the law. They believe that everyone deserves a second chance—especially young people with their entire lives ahead of them. Visit their website to view their practice areas. For your free consultation, call (304) 728-7718.