Drug offenses often carry some of the harshest sentences for nonviolent crimes. Possession charges can cause major complications for people of any age that last for decades. Young adults are at higher risk than many others. Not only are they more likely than other age groups to make poorly-thought-out decisions, but they are also at risk for more consequences.
A teenage drug conviction could very well affect someone’s education and career options for the rest of their life. In other words, if your child recently got arrested for an alleged drug offense, you can’t assume that they won’t have real consequences, nor should you leave them at the mercy of the system to teach them a lesson.
Your young adult will need social and psychological support when dealing with the stress of the criminal justice system. They will also need legal and financial help if you want them to have a bright future despite their pending drug charges.
Drug convictions can end college prospects
College is incredibly expensive. Most families with young adults attending college rely on scholarships, student loans and federal student aid-like grants and work-study programs to make the cost of college accessible.
Unfortunately, federal rules for student aid require that students report convictions. Those convicted of drug offenses while receiving aid may have to repay the aid they receive. Others may lose out on current and future student aid because of a conviction or guilty plea. Even private scholarship programs and financial aid provided by schools may become less accessible because of a drug conviction.
Drug crimes still carry major social stigma
It is common practice for employers to ask about criminal history on applications and for them to perform background checks during the hiring process. The more prestigious and better-paying the job, the more scrutiny an applicant will face. Drug offenses could lock a young adult out from all but the most basic career opportunities.
If your child winds up incarcerated because of their offense, the psychological trauma of that experience could further reduce the likelihood of them securing stable, gainful employment in the future. Helping your child prepare for criminal defense can be a way to protect your child’s future when a simple mistake endangers it.