Drug charges in Florida may come with a host of serious repercussions, even for college students. It’s not just jail time and fines that you may face but lost opportunities at school and work.
Possibility of expulsion
Some colleges expel students for drug use. If it was your first time, then your school may suspend you. Check your college’s policy to know how they handle drug charges. Another possible consequence is the revocation of scholarships.
Eligibility for federal aid
In the past, the federal government would stop providing financial aid for your education if the court finds you guilty of a drug charge or you plead guilty. Drug convictions no longer affect your eligibility for federal student aid. When you fill out an application, however, you will have an additional worksheet to fill out. Your answers won’t affect your eligibility for student aid. Be aware that convictions of other offenses could make you ineligible.
Possession of controlled substances in Florida is a third-degree felony. You could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Other potential legal repercussions include suspension of your driver’s license and mandatory drug rehab.
Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana in Florida is a misdemeanor. You could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine on a first-time offense.
If authorities found drugs in your possession through an illegal search or seizure or through a bad warrant, then the drug charges against you may not hold up in court. Other scenarios in which you might not receive a conviction are when the controlled substance belonged to someone else or you didn’t know it was there.
The possible consequences of a drug charge in Florida are serious enough that you may want a legal professional’s guidance in reducing the punishments. Although your eligibility for federal aid isn’t affected, colleges still have the right to expel students for drug convictions.