Frank, Juengel & Radefeld, Attorneys at Law
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Can a federal drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

Federal drug convictions bring with them serious consequences, not all of which come directly from the criminal justice system. Depending on the circumstances and details surrounding a drug crime, a person could face a mandatory prison sentence, among other harsh repercussions. If you are a college student, your criminal act can potentially prevent you from returning to school.

How? According to U.S. News & World Report, those convicted of state or federal drug charges may lose their ability to retain financial aid. In other words, if you face drug charges and also use student aid or grant money to pursue your higher education, your criminal conviction could leave you on the financial hook by eliminating your ability to utilize federal assistance.

3 emotions you may feel if you are facing a criminal charge

Unless you are a judge, prosecutor or criminal defense attorney, you have likely not spent much time inside a courtroom. If you face criminal charges, however, the mere thought of stepping foot inside one may cause you to panic. 

Every criminal defendant is different. You may be struggling with a variety of emotions. Rather than let your emotions control your decision making, work to understand how you feel. Here are three emotions you may have to address during your criminal case.

Collateral consequences of a Missouri criminal conviction

When you have a Missouri criminal charge hanging over your head, it is completely understandable that you may feel anxious about the penalties you could potentially face if convicted. Hefty fines, jail stints and similar penalties are just some of what you might face, should a judge or jury convict you of a crime, and your trouble may not necessarily end there. At Frank, Juengel & Radefeld, Attorneys at Law, we understand that you may, too, face what are known as “collateral consequences” in the wake of a criminal conviction, and we have helped many state residents facing criminal charges defend themselves appropriately.

According to MO.gov, you may face any number of different collateral consequences after you receive a conviction for a crime, with “collateral consequences” referring to penalties you may face that come from somewhere other than the justice system. While the exact collateral consequences you will face after receiving a criminal conviction will depend on several different factors, they can include any number of penalties that can make your life more difficult.

Whose drugs are they?

When you face any kind of drug charges in Missouri, the first thing the prosecutor must prove in order to convict you is that the drugs the law enforcement officers recovered actually belonged to you and not someone else. FindLaw explains that (s)he can go one of two routes. She can prove that you actually possessed the drugs or (s)he can prove that you constructively possessed them.

If the officers found the drugs somewhere on your person, such as in one of your pockets, you make it easy for the prosecutor because you had actual possession of them. All (s)he needs is the credible testimony from the officer who recovered the drugs as to where they were found. Constructive possession, on the other hand, gives the prosecutor a considerably more difficult problem. Here the officers found the drugs somewhere else other than on your person, and the prosecutor must convince the jury through circumstantial evidence that they belonged to you.

What does a mail fraud charge mean?

People who face criminal charges in St. Louis for mail fraud come from all walks of life. Some of them commit the crime with malicious intent, others do so because they have fallen on hard times or feel they have no other legal resources available. Anyone facing criminal charges for mail fraud should take immediate and reasonable action to improve the outcome of their situation. 

Mail fraud is a federal crime that carries serious and long-lasting penalties. Here is a brief overview of the elements necessary to substantiate a mail fraud crime

Your involvement in criminal activity could have lasting effects

If you have been convicted of a serious crime in Missouri, you could be facing a number of consequences that are standing in the way of you continuing to live your life as a free person. Overcoming your mistakes and leaving your past in the past, is going to require a commitment to change and a recognition of what you have done that is wrong. At Frank, Juengel & Radefeld Attorneys at Law, we have been able to help facilitate the recovery of convicted criminals. 

Your future does not have to be defined by the mistakes you have made, although you may notice that the consequences and feelings you have as a result of your crimes, may never fully subside. Some of the long-term effects that will take time for you to amend may include difficulty finding employment because of your record, trouble rebuilding trust with the people you have hurt, uneasiness about what people will think of you if they find out about your past and damage to your reputation that will take considerable time to fix. 

Common methods of identity theft

Increased use of technology has resulted in a higher incidence of identity theft. The number of data breaches, record exposures, credit card exposures and Social Security exposures steadily increases. Identity fraud is often the outcome of these personal information breaches. 

But what does identity theft look like? How do fraudsters obtain these private details? Here are some of the most common methods of committing this type of white-collar crime.

Abusing prescription drugs is illegal

When most people hear the term "drug crimes," they may imagine illicit substances such as marijuana, heroin or methamphetamine. While these illegal substances are certainly an issue, the umbrella of drug crimes is much wider. It also includes prescription medications

It is unlawful to use prescription medications without a prescription, and the same applies to distributing them. Misusing prescription medications can result in jail time and hefty fines. 

Is prolonged use of prescription drugs dangerous?

Believing that just because a drug was prescribed to you by your health care provider in Missouri makes it okay to consume beyond what was prescribed, is a dangerous way of thinking and can be a major risk to your health and well-being. You can just as easily become addicted to a prescription drug as any of the illegal drugs you may come across. 

When your doctor prescribes a drug to help you manage unwanted symptoms of a medical condition you are experiencing, it is imperative that you understand the dosage requirements. This includes how frequently you should take the drug, what substances to avoid taking with it, how much to take at any given time and the duration of consumption. It would also benefit you to be aware of the side effects. As soon as you have reached the maximum amount of days recommended for you to be taking the drug, properly dispose of any remaining pills. 

Field sobriety tests are not always reliable

If a police officer stops you under reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, he or she may request for you to partake in a field sobriety test. The police use these tests to establish enough evidence of impairment to arrest you. But the results of field sobriety tests are not always reliable. The officer may claim confidence in conducting these tests, but that does not necessarily mean they are accurate. 

The accuracy of these DUI tests comes into question because of flaws in the tests, how physical and mental conditions may impact your performance, and failure of the officer to administer the tests properly. Here are some reasons why you may be able to challenge the validity of field sobriety tests.

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