My College Student Child Got Arrested for Possession of Marijuana. Do They Need an Attorney?
No parent wants to get a call from their child telling them that he or she was arrested on drug charges, but unfortunately we do see that situation often. So once it has happened, the question is “what do we do next?” Do we need a lawyer? An attorney will likely be able to help you and your child navigate not only the criminal but additional issues that may arise.
Perhaps the greatest financial value in fighting your child’s possession of marijuana case is as it relates to federal scholarship money. If he or she is receiving federal aid (via FAFSA), his or her eligibility might be suspended if the alleged offense occurred while they were receiving aid. Eligibility would not be suspended simply as a result of the arrest, but upon conviction, if the student is re-applying for FAFSA, as you do going into each year of college, the student will have to report such a conviction. At that point, FAFSA will send the student a worksheet to determine whether or not funding will continue to be available to the student or if his aid will be suspended.
Additionally, if your student is considering any type of profession which requires licensing (i.e., attorney, doctor, nurse, etc.), their case needs to be handled in such a way that the collateral consequences of the case are minimal. For example, if Client A has career aspirations that do not involve licensing, and Client B’s dreams involve a license occupation, diversion might be a great outcome for Client A, but if Client B’s licensing agency views diversion negatively, that might not be a good outcome for Client B. This is why we take an extensive amount of time to talk to each client about not only their case, but their life goals (particularly younger clients). We want to make sure we put them in a good position to pursue the future they want.
Unfortunately, we also sometimes see clients whose possession of marijuana arrest uncovers more significant drug use. In these cases, we work with the client and their family to work through these issues. We help our clients get into counseling, if necessary, and we will also connect them with rehab facilities.
If you or someone you know is facing possession charges, give Gilmer & Giglio a call at (318) 459-9111, and we will set up a consult with you to see how we can help you.