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How does a drug conviction affect your financial aid award?

When you signed on the dotted line to take out federal student loans to attend college here in Athens, you may not have read all the fine print contained in the disclosures that you were required to review to secure funding for your education.

If you've been charged with a drug offense, then you're probably wishing that you would have read these documents over a little better beforehand. Had you done so, you would have known just how a drug conviction on your criminal record could adversely impact your ability to continue pursuing higher education.

That's right. If you receive federal student aid, whether it comes in the form of a work-study opportunity, loans or grants, then you may put that funding in jeopardy if you're convicted of a drug-related offense.

If you receive federal student financial aid, then you're likely aware of how you must complete an application to qualify for renewed funding every year. The form that you must fill out asks a variety of questions about your household income. It also solicits information about whether you've been convicted of any drug-related offense while you were receiving aid. If you answer yes, then your grants, loans or work-study may be suspended.

While the idea your federal financial aid is suspended may make you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn't let that discourage you. You may be allowed to receive funding once again if you pass two random drug tests and an approved rehabilitation program.

Your attorney may also be able to help negotiate a plea deal on your behalf or pursue other defense strategies that will keep a conviction off your record. Your Athens lawyer can go over your rights and legal remedies available to you in your Georgia case.

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Athens, GA 30601

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