As a parent of a college student, you surely want the best for your child, but it is often difficult to know when to let them deal with their own problems as a fledgling adult, and when to lend a hand to keep them on a productive path. In some form or fashion, all parents deal with this struggle as their children leave the nest and spread their wings, whether for college or other opportunities.
The situation is much different, however, when a child receives drug possession charges, especially if they are a student. While it is certainly up to each parent to decide what is best for their child in their particular circumstances, drug possession charges pose a serious threat to the future of any young person. If you are deliberating over whether to help your child fight drug charges, consider just how disastrous a conviction can be.
Drug possession convictions are far over-penalized
Despite recent trends in many states to legalize or decriminalize marijuana, the law still takes a harsh view of drug possession, leading to some of the strongest sentencing handed down for any non-violent crimes. If your child faces drug possession charges of any kind, they may end up serving serious prison time and facing thousands of dollars in fines. There is no incentive for a prosecutor to take it easy on them, especially if they do not build a strong legal defense on their own.
Drug convictions stick around
Let’s assume that by some stroke of luck, your child receives a conviction, but does not face jail time. This is an unlikely scenario, but possible. They still face an uphill battle just to remain on the path to leading a productive life and securing good employment.
Drug convictions often disqualify applicants from even interviewing for many kinds of jobs, meaning it is much more difficult for those with drug convictions to find work. In many cases, this means that they end up working well below their earning potential, and may have very little room for advancement.
Similarly, they may find that it is difficult to find an apartment or home to rent, because many property management firms refuse to rent to applicants with drug convictions. Again, this may push them toward undesirable housing, or mean that they must move back home until they can find something that works.
Furthermore, it is likely that the school that your child attends will object to the conviction and expel them, at least for the rest of the semester. While many students do return to school and get back on track with their studies, it is never easy, and may severely impact your child’s future opportunities.
Consider the true costs of a conviction
As a parent, you understand that your child must grow and learn at their own pace, but sometimes intervention is truly necessary. If your child fails to address drug possession charges directly with a strong legal defense, they may lose months or years of their life trying to recover from it, and may never get back on track.
Make sure to use high quality legal resources and guidance as you assemble a strategy to keep your child’s future safe while you work to ensure that they learn valuable lessons that will serve them well.