If you get caught with drug possession in Florida, there are wide-ranging consequences. Some of them have to do with Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Getting caught with drugs can affect your eligibility for student aid. In other words, if you are found to have drugs in your possession — that can be your car, home or purse — and you are currently receiving Federal financial aid, you will be ineligible to receive aid for a specified amount of time.
There are ways to get your eligibility back. You can successfully complete an approved rehabilitation program that includes passing two unscheduled drug tests that are given to you by the rehabilitation program you are in. You can also have the conviction reversed or set aside and this will bring back your eligibility.
If you don’t do either of these activities, you can eventually get your eligibility back after a prescribed amount of time. For a first offense of drug possession, the penalty is one year of ineligibility from the date of conviction. For a second offense, the penalty is two years of ineligibility from the date of conviction. For three or more, the penalty is indefinite. If you don’t want to pursue getting reinstated early, there is a form that you need to fill out when your eligibility is reinstated. The FAFSA authorities take drug possession very seriously.
You are considered to be receiving financial aid beginning the day that classes start for any term that you have applied to take at a college or university. You also must have accepted an offer for Federal student financial aid. In other words, you will be penalized by FAFSA authorities when you accept the offer of financial aid — not when you actually receive it.
Getting to know all the penalties for possession of illegal drugs is important. If you need legal help, calling in a knowledgeable attorney can be so important at a time like this.
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, "FAFSA Facts," accessed Dec. 01, 2015