A drug arrest is no less serious for a student than a working adult. The justice system does not “go easy” on young people simply because they are college students.
It is important that students and their parents respond to a criminal charge for drug possession seriously. Here are some of the possible ramifications involved with a drug arrest.
Of course, the consequence that people worry about most after an arrest for drugs is jail time. Decriminalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania seems unlikely to happen in the near future. Possession of marijuana for personal use may result in a sentence of up to one month in jail. Possession of narcotics such as prescription painkillers or cocaine is a felony, and a jail sentence could be up to one year.
Problems with school
Students with drug convictions may face expulsion or be unable to gain admission to graduate school. Paying for school may become impossible because of ineligibility for federal student aid.
A drug conviction may result in job loss. A criminal record may prevent students from getting a good job in the future.
Pennsylvania offers treatment programs for individuals who commit certain drug offenses. Participating in a program is generally preferable to jail time, and it can be a lifesaving opportunity for a person with a substance use problem.
Ultimately, students need to be aware of what could happen to them after a drug arrest. Preparing a strong legal defense is their best hope of safeguarding what they have worked hard to achieve.