Parallel Consequences of Possessing Drugs for College Students

Many teenagers and young adults use their college years to take risks and experiment with substances, but keeping or carrying illegal drugs is a serious crime regardless of age.

An arrest, charge and conviction for drug possession come with serious legal penalties, but for a North Carolina college student, the non-criminal consequences can be just as severe.

Financial penalties

If charged with a drug crime, you face possible jail time and probation upon conviction, but you also may be on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars in legal fees, court costs and fines. As a college student, you have tuition and books to worry about paying for, and the extra expense can cause you unnecessary mental and financial stress.

Academic probation, suspension or expulsion

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and other institutes for higher learning prohibit possessing or consuming controlled substances for students. Depending on your school’s code of conduct, you may face consequences that impact your course of study.

Additionally, if you have plans to pursue graduate school after finishing your undergraduate degree, a drug possession charge could affect your chances of acceptance into a competitive university program.

Barriers to employment

Hiring managers may deny opportunities for applicants with criminal records, even for offenses that occurred in early adulthood. If you wish to pursue a career that requires a professional license, the state licensing agency may deny your request based on your criminal history.

Mistakes from your youth should not ruin your entire future, but many of these challenges may prove difficult to overcome. If faced with a criminal drug charge in North Carolina, it is important to understand your rights under the law.

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