As a parent, you want the best for the child. You want them to succeed and you know a college education could open up many great opportunities for them. Though it hopefully does not happen, you should make sure your child understands the severity of a drug conviction. This could alter the course of their whole future.
Financial aid and scholarships
College is expensive. Many families seek some sort of financial aid or scholarship award to help ease the cost of tuition. A criminal conviction can hurt your child’s chances of qualifying. Oftentimes, financial aid will be denied because of a drug conviction, or it could cease if you were already receiving it.
Scholarships will vary because they all have different criteria and are awarded by different parties. Like financial aid, students could lose eligibility if they are convicted of a drug crime.
If your child is still applying to college or is looking to attend grad school, a drug conviction can spell trouble. More and more schools are performing background checks. A mark on a student’s criminal record could affect their acceptance into the school.
Students also might be suspended from classes if they are charged with crime, affecting their grades and, by extension, their ability to hold onto a scholarship. In some cases, such as repeat offenses, the school may choose to expel them.
Future career opportunities
Convictions might follow students after they graduate too. A criminal background can affect job opportunities. Some employers are very strict about any sort of criminal history in their employees. On top of that, certain industries may become unavailable or hard to enter, such jobs involving kids. One of the main reasons to attend college is because of the career options it opens, so it can be devastating to lose opportunities because of a conviction.
What options does my child have?
Despite all this, your situation is not hopeless if your child has been convicted. Attending a rehabilitation program can renew a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid. This might be an option for scholarships depending on their rules and criteria.
You can also seek an expungement. This clears a criminal record as if the crime never occurred, so schools and companies cannot see that a criminal history ever existed.
If your child is facing drug charges, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. Your child’s future is not ruined, but you need to take advised legal action to defend against the consequences.