How Drug Convictions Can Affect Federal Student Aid
If you are a college student and have applied and received federal grants and loans through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program, being convicted of a drug-related felony or misdemeanor will leave you ineligible to receive future financial assistance for a certain period of time from the date of your conviction.
How long that ineligibility will last depends on the number of convictions you have and the type of offense you are convicted of. A first offense for possession of drugs will leave you ineligible for one year. If it is your have been convicted for selling illegal drugs and it is your first offense, you will not be able to apply for federal aid for two year.
A second possession conviction will leave you without FAFSA assistance for two years. If you have received two or more convictions of selling drugs, or if this is your third or more conviction for possession, the law says you will not be eligible for federal student aid unless your conviction is overturned or legally ruled to be invalid.
If there is no chance of your conviction being overturned or dismissed, the law does offer two other ways to get the ineligibility status lifted. If you complete a drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two drug tests which were unannounced, or if you pass two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program, then you will be able to apply for aid again.
The FAFSA program has strict requirements for what qualifies as an approved drug rehabilitation program. If this is the course of action you will be required to take in order to get aid reinstated, you will want to discuss your options with your criminal defense attorney.This is just one example of how damaging a drug conviction can be. That is why it is important, if you have been arrested, to contact an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney to get the best representation possible.