Federal Financial Aid Suspensions and a Criminal Record
A criminal record could effect your future in more than one way. According to the federal student aid website there are several ways a student’s financial loans can be suspended. Most commonly, students who have previous convictions for drug offenses may lose their eligibility if these offenses were committed during a period in which they were receiving financial aid. A period of receiving financial aid is considered beginning on: the first day of the term for which the student applied, was approved and accepted the financial aid. Generally this period can begin with the first day of classes during each semester and runs until that current period ends. It should also be stated that this period includes mid semester and holiday breaks that may fall during the semester. Summer breaks are not considered part of the financial aid period, however if the student is taking summer classes the same rules apply for a student who is receiving financial aid during the fall or spring.
Penalties For Students Convicted Of Drug Offenses
If a student pleads guilty to a drug offense or is convicted, this will result in suspensions based on several factors. The Federal government makes a distinction between drug possession offense and drug distribution offenses.
A student offender who is convicted of drug possession:
- For a first time offense the student will have their eligibility suspended for one year from the date of the conviction.
- For a second offense the student will have their eligibility suspended for two years from the date of the conviction.
- For a third offense the student will have their eligibility suspended for an indefinite period from the date of the conviction.
A student offender who is convicted of drug distribution:
- For a first time offense the student will have their eligibility suspended for two year from the date of the conviction.
- For any subsequent offense the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended indefinitely.
New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys For Students Convicted Of Drug Offenses
In order to be reinstated the student must complete an approved drug treatment rehabilitation program which requires random screenings. Another option is to have the conviction ultimately reversed or dismissed. Pleading guilty to these types of offenses without consulting legal representation is not recommended. Those students facing minor drug offenses that may be considered misdemeanors in New Jersey should be aware that even these type of offenses can result in student loan suspension. If you are either a parent whose child is in this situation or a student who is facing a conviction for a drug offense while in Monmouth or Ocean County it is important to consult criminal defense attorneys who can help defend you against these charges.
Call Villani & DeLuca, P.C. today at 732-800-2980 to schedule a FREE consultation and speak to one of our attorneys about your criminal case.