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Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

While a Nebraska drug conviction can mean big trouble in terms of penalties, which might include jail time, steep fines and substance abuse treatment requirements, among others, such a conviction can also bring with it collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are repercussions you may face for your actions that are civil, rather than criminal, but they still have the capacity to upend certain aspects of your life. For example, one collateral consequence you may face if convicted on a drug charge is a loss of financial aid eligibility.

Per U.S. News & World Report, losing your access to federal financial aid is a very real possibility in the wake of a drug conviction, regardless of the type of drug offense a judge or jury determines you committed. Ultimately, the determining factor in whether you can expect to lose your ability to continue to receive financial aid is when, exactly, your arrest took place.

More specifically, only drug convictions for arrests that occurred when you were already receiving financial aid can affect your eligibility for it moving forward. In other words, if your arrest occurred over, say, a summer weekend, it should not impact your financial aid eligibility, unless you were currently receiving aid to take summer classes.

As for how long you might lose access to financial aid, this will vary based on the severity of your drug crime and whether you have an existing criminal history. As you might imagine, more serious drug convictions, and convictions earned by repeat offenders, typically lead to longer losses of financial aid eligibility.

This information about the connection between drug convictions and financial aid eligibility seeks to inform you, but it is not a replacement for legal advice.

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  • Defendant was charged with sexual assault of a minor. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm got the alleged victim to confess that she made the whole thing up. Charges were dropped against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with possessing a large quantity of marijuana. Following a complete investigation by our firm, the State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with embezzling more than $300,000.00, from a previous employer. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm highlighted a number of inconsistencies and questionable statements. The State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with child abuse resulting in death. Following the investigation of our firm, depositions of key witnesses and presentation of our findings to the prosecutor, the State agreed to dismiss the charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The matter proceeded to trial and the jury found our client Not Guilty.

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