Caught with Drugs on Campus? Protect Your Financial Aid Eligibility!


As so many states across the country legalize marijuana, smoking weed in college has started to seem like less of a big deal to incoming college students. For students in North Carolina, marijuana is still illegal, and if you are caught with it in your possession, you could face more than just criminal penalties.

Another common college drug that students often feel is safe or legal are study drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall. While this prescription drug is legal, if you are found in possession of these study drugs without a prescription, you could also face serious consequences.

Find out how to protect your financial aid eligibility after a drug arrest from our skilled Wilmington drug crime attorney.

Will I lose my financial aid immediately?

No. If you are arrested, it does not mean you have been convicted of a crime. You can only be suspended from financial aid eligibility if you have been convicted. You are also not in danger of losing your current financial aid disbursement. If you are convicted, and the offense occurred while you were receiving federal student aid, such as grants, loans or work-study, you could lose eligibility for federal student aid in the next semester.


How long will I be suspended from Financial Aid?

First conviction

  • Sale of Illegal Drugs conviction is a suspension of 1 year from date of conviction.
  • Possession of Illegal drugs conviction is a suspension of 2 years from the date of conviction.

Second conviction

  • Sale of illegal drugs conviction is a suspension for an indefinite period
  • A second conviction for possession of drugs results in suspension for 2 years from the date of conviction.


What can I do to avoid losing my financial aid?

The best thing you can do to avoid losing your financial aid is to team up with a skilled attorney. James F. Rutherford is a proven trial attorney, rated AV Preeminent® for his exceptional legal skills and success, and certified as a criminal law specialist by the North Carolina State Bar. Our firm focuses on university and college-based crimes, let our Wilmington drug crime lawyer can help build your defense case.

Call today to schedule a free consultation.