My son used marijuana at college. What should a I expect?

This is a question I answered on Avvo.com about a month ago.

Jurisdiction is a major issue here. The different counties take terribly varied apporaches. As is the charge itself in HIS situation for a few reasons as I have seen and helped to prevent with my own clients and students.

1) Financial Aid – under the Higher Education Act, he may have his financial aid suspended depending on the case disposition.
I will quote the higher education act:

“SUSPENSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR DRUG-RELATED OFFENSES-

    (1) IN GENERAL- A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:

`If convicted of an offense involving:

The possession of a controlled substance:

Ineligibility period is:

First offense
1 year

Second offense
2 years

Third offense
Indefinite.

The sale of a controlled substance:

Ineligibility period is:

First offense
2 years

Second offense
Indefinite.”

So while the disposition is absolutely draconian, this is unfortunately the current law in the country.

2) Jurisdiction– while Cook County may be more liberal on this issue in certain courthouses, leading to more fair dispositions, McHenry is not as kind on average. DuPage and Lake can be split depending on the courthouse and prosecutor

Immediate Action to take as a Parent – despite whatever disappointment you must feel at the moments, hire an attorney immediately. I’ve been able to find a measure of success with small amounts of marijuana by demanding the lab technician appearance in court. In many jurisdictions, they are much too busy with larger (and more serious) drug cases. Therefore, they avoid court. I was blatantly told the same when I was a prosecutor.

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