What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession on a College Campus?

College is often the first time young adults are away from their parents for an extended period of time. This free time gives them a chance to figure out who they are and what they want to do with their life.

However, some college students take the experience too far and end up making poor decisions that come with consequences. These consequences or penalties could be handed down by local law enforcement, campus police or a school disciplinary board.

Could there be jail time?

There could be jail time, depending on how the college’s disciplinary board and campus police want to handle the situation. Jail time may be likely if local law enforcement gets involved. In Virginia, you could face the following penalties or fines for possessing a Schedule I or II substance:

  • Jail time from one to ten years
  • 12 months of jail time and/or a fine of up to $2,500

If you are convicted of possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, you could face up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Will the school discipline you?

Being convicted of possession of a controlled substance can also affect your education. There will likely be penalties handed down by the college’s disciplinary board. The following disciplinary actions may be taken:

  • Suspension, academic probation or expulsion
  • Revocation of your student aid
  • Delay in your graduation

These penalties can have a significant impact on your life. If you rely on student aid to attend college, you may struggle to afford attending classes due to this potential charge. Each of these penalties may impact your future career and earnings.

If you were arrested with possession of a controlled substance, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Getting an attorney involved in the process early can help you defend this potential charge. Your attorney may also be able to minimize any damages if they become involved from the beginning.