It’s common for college students to experiment with drug use. A drug possession charge can have many implications on a student’s future. Missouri’s drug possession laws are strict compared to other states and can result in a felony charge for a wide variety of substances, no matter what amount is in possession. Possession of any controlled substance, aside from marijuana, is considered a Class C felony in Missouri, punishable to $10,000 and seven years in prison.
Harsh penalties for controlled substances
Missouri divides its list of controlled substances into five categories called ‘schedules.’ A ‘Schedule I’ is a substance that is highly addictive and has risk factors for abuse. A ‘Schedule V’ is of less concern in that it includes less dangerous substances. The distinction of what schedule a drug resides within is vital to determining the severity of punishment.
More implications for college students convicted of possession
Aside from the criminal charges, a drug possession conviction can have lasting effects on a student’s academic, financial and professional future. A drug conviction may result in:
- School expulsion: Depending on the college’s drug use guideline, a student charged with possession of a controlled substance could very likely be put on academic probation, suspended or expelled.
- Loss of financial aid: A charge for drug possession can result in suspended eligibility for federal student aid. The first offense comes with a year suspension, and the second offense escalates to two years of ineligibility. The consequences of the sale of a controlled substance are more severe.
- Graduate school rejection: A student with a drug possession conviction may find that a criminal history can weigh into their acceptance to a graduate school.
Salvaging your future
If your child has a drug possession charge, you need a legal ally to protect their future. Their academic and professional career shouldn’t be decided on one mistake. Hire an attorney who has experience in criminal defense and drug charges.