Drug use in College | How it can Affect One’s Life

November 12, 2018By Brian Manchester

Statistics show that drug use in college is very common, with over 50% of college students having tried marijuana, over 30% have abused Adderall and 10% have used Ecstasy or Molly. However, few college students understand the consequences of their actions. The punishments associated with drug use will have a lasting effect on a student’s life.

  1. Fines and/or jail time

If you are a student convicted of drug possession in Pennsylvania, you will have to spend a lot of money on fines, and possibly spend some time in jail. It’s true that marijuana laws have become more relaxed as of late, but it’s still possible to be sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined up to $500 for possession of marijuana, even with a small amount. Medical marijuana patients will be considered exempt, but anyone with an expired prescription, or without any prescription, will still be charged and sentenced for marijuana possession.

Possession of other illegal drugs will result in much more serious charges. Getting caught with controlled substances such as Heroin, Cocaine, and prescription drugs can result in:

  • Up to one year in prison and up to a $5,000 fine
  • Up to two years in prison for a second offense
  • Up to three years for a third offense

Unfortunately, consequences for students go beyond legal repercussions.

The effects of having a charge on your record can overflow into school and future employment.

  1. Student aid can be revoked

Your federal student aid may also be revoked if convicted of a drug charge, yet few students realize this. This can be potentially devastating for students, especially because more are depending on their own financing for their education, rather than on their parent’s.

  1. Academic probation or suspension 

Policies for drug use vary for every educational institution and the situations are evaluated on a case by case basis. Students very commonly are placed on academic probation or sometimes suspended for getting caught with drugs. For example, the University of Pennsylvania prohibits any drug use. Drug use on this campus can result in a wide range of disciplinary actions, ranging from a mere warning to expulsion. The results will depend upon the type of drug, the amount, and if you have repeat offenses.

  1. Delayed graduation

If a student misses too many classes because of jail time, probation, or suspension from school, the student might not be able to graduate on time. If your charges are severe enough, your college might decide to withhold graduation until you have complied with rules and penalties.

  1. You might get turned down for grad school

Grad school applications ask whether the applicant has been charged or convicted with a criminal offense. Additionally, graduate schools will also run background checks in order to scan for offenses. While graduate schools might not turn down students outright, a mark on your record could give someone else a better chance over you for admission.

The side effects of an arrest and spending time in jail for a drug possession conviction can be upsetting. Many students feel like their future is jeopardized.

If you or a loved one was charged with possession of drugs, contact Brian Manchester today for help with your case. Brian Manchester will fight for you every step of the way and ensure you receive aggressive representation.

He has extensive training in alcohol and drug defense and is even a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Brian Manchester also regularly attends seminars that specifically focus on DUI defenses, and he was also the Educational Chairman for the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.


Posted in: Drugs , Title IX/Student Discipline blog

Tags: drug, drug use, drug use in college, drug use on campus,

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About the Author

Brian Manchester is the owner of Manchester and Associates in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. His law firm practices DUI and Criminal Defense exclusively throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania in both state and federal court. He has a team of two other lawyers with a combined 50 years of trial and courtroom experience are also trained in science and many other skills that are relevant to criminal defense to include the psychology of persuasion as well. One of his associates is a former District Attorney (chief prosecutor) in central Pennsylvania.   Mr. Manchester and his team routinely handle serious felony cases including murder, manslaughter, sex crimes, complex financial crimes, and serious assaults. A large part of Mr. Manchester’s practice is the defense of alcohol and drug-based DUI offenses as well as drug cases using science and analytical chemistry. Mr. Manchester has training as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor. He is one of a handful of Certified Lawyer-Scientists as recognized by the American Chemical Society in the United States. He is a member of NCDD and is a Founding Member of DUIDLA. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society with over 170,000 members across the world. To date, he is the only practicing criminal defense lawyer to belong to the Society of Forensic Toxicologist where he is an Associate Member. Mr. Manchester speaks nationally on the topic of blood and drug testing for alcohol as well as the metrological (measurement uncertainty) in forensic testing.

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