The police arrest people every day for drug possession. It is an unfortunate reality that many of the people facing arrest are only teenagers.
A drug possession conviction will lead to numerous consequences for anyone, but it can be particularly detrimental for someone still in high school. In many cases, a teenager caught with even a small amount of marijuana can lead to jail time, substantial fines and probation. However, the consequences can be more far-reaching than that.
No college acceptance
For a first offense, a teenager will most likely look at misdemeanor charges, but he or she still needs to mention that on all college applications. A university may deny a student acceptance based solely on that. A child’s entire future can be put in jeopardy due to a single mistake.
Trouble finding loans
In the event a student still goes to college, he or she may have trouble getting federal loans. Similarly to a college application, many loans require students to state whether they have a criminal record. A single drug charge may be enough to face disqualification. Even if a student can go to college, he or she may be unable to afford it.
Regardless of what a student’s future plans are, they most likely involve moving out. Many landlords will not rent out to individuals who have criminal records. Some people try to circumvent this by lying on the application, and this is why many landlords conduct independent background checks.
Impact on employment opportunities
Employers run background checks on employees, and a drug charge may make an employer hesitate to hire someone. In the event people with a drug conviction apply to work in law enforcement, commercial driving or nursing, most companies will not consider them.
Depending on the severity of the charges, expungement may not be an option for a teen after a drug conviction. Parents whose teens face a drug charge should speak to an attorney about developing a strong defense strategy.