It's true ... and a judge, prosecutor, police officer, and even your
own defense attorney probably won't tell you before you are found
guilty of a
drug offense. Yet it is something every college student, or future college student,
The penalties can be severe and one fleeting bad decision can cost you
thousands of dollars in student aid or put your education, and life, "on
hold" for years.
It is essential to know ALL OF THE FACTS before appearing in criminal court.
In Philadelphia, for instance, people charged with possession of a small
amount of marijuana are often offered a fine and "no further penalty"
in exchange for giving up their right to a trial.
Well, if you are, or plan on being, a student that uses federal financial
aid to help pay for school there
will be a further penalty that no one in the courtroom will tell you about.
federal regulations drug conviction can result in the
loss of eligibility to receive federal financial aid. If someone is convicted of possessing a drug for personal use, the first
offense results in a one-year period of ineligibility from the date of
conviction. A second offense leads to a two-year period of ineligibility,
and a third offense leads to an indefinite period of ineligibility.
The consequences are even more severe for someone that is convicted of
possessing a drug with the intent to deliver it to others (for money or
not). The first offense can result in a two-year period of ineligibility
to receive federal financial aid, and a second offense can lead to an
indefinite period of ineligibility.
There are procedures in place for students to regain eligibility, but they
are time consuming and can be expensive (e.g., completion of a "qualified" drug rehabilitation program and
passing unannounced drug tests). However, the best course is to avoid
a conviction for a drug offense in the first place.
If you or someone you know are charged with a drug offense, choosing the
right attorney is essential. You should immediately contact a lawyer who
has experience with the defense of drug cases in Pennsylvania. Drug convictions
carry many "hidden" penalties that you do not become aware of
until it is too late.
Timothy Tarpey and
Jim Lloyd are criminal defense attorneys
and former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorneys with more than 40 years
of experience who have handled thousands of drug cases. Talk to an experienced attorney
before you face the possibility of imprisonment, loss of your financial aid,
or an interruption in your education.
Philadelphia criminal defense attorney at (215) 352-3432 and
schedule a free consultation today.