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College students and drug charges

Going to college is your child's first real chance to discover who they are and make their own decisions. However, if these decisions include experimenting with drugs, it can cause serious problems, both physical and legal.

In addition to drug charges, drug use can lead to sexual assault charges. When students use drugs, their senses are dulled, and words and behaviors can be misinterpreted. It is common for "no's" to be misunderstood or not heard at all and the results can be catastrophic. A sexual assault charge can not only lead to jail time, fines and a lifetime of sex offender registration requirements, it can also lead to expulsion from school.

Most colleges and universities have honor code provisions prohibiting sexual misconduct. An accusation of sexual assault can result in an honor board hearing. If your student is found guilty at this hearing, he/she faces suspension, expulsion and a lasting mark on their permanent record. Make sure your child has an experienced lawyer representing them.

The 4 most common drugs found on college campuses

Adderall

Also known as the "study drug," Adderall is a prescription medication that is given to those with certain hyperactivity or attention deficit disorders. However, it's also very commonly used by students trying to stay up all night to study for a major exam or finish an essay. Approximately 1 in 3 college students admit to "frequently" using the drug to stay focused and power through study sessions. Using Adderall can cause serious physical side effects, including a feeling of being "wired," increased heart rate and an increased risk of depression, psychosis and anxiety.

Adderall is considered an amphetamine. Being caught in possession of Adderrall without a valid prescription, or being caught selling the drug, is a felony, and can result in large fines and years in prison.

Ecstasy

Ecstasy is a stimulant that has psychedelic effects. The effects can last for anywhere from four to six hours, and anxiety, paranoia, depression, confusion and sleeplessness are all common symptoms. Ecstasy can also cause the body temperature to rise to unsafe levels, causing everything from dehydration to organ damage, which can be fatal. Ecstasy is also often cut with other drugs, such as amphetamines or caffeine, and this further increases the risk of an adverse reaction or accidental overdose or poisoning.

Ecstasy is a Schedule I drug in Maryland, meaning the charges and penalties for its possession or sale are the most severe. Consequences include fines in the tens of thousands of dollars and the possibility of decades in prison.

Marijuana

While the state of Maryland does have medicinal marijuana laws on the books, they are not yet operational, which means that anyone caught growing, using or distributing marijuana can face criminal charges and penalties. Marijuana is extremely common on college campuses, and the decriminalization efforts happening across the country make this only likely to increase.

Possession of a small amount of marijuana is a civil offense in Maryland. However, possession of more than 10 grams and being caught selling marijuana is a criminal offense. Depending on the circumstances, those charged face fines and possible jail time.

Criminal convictions come with serious consequences

At 18 or 19, college students may still seem like children. But, in the eyes of the law they are adults. If charged and convicted of a criminal drug charge, they will have a criminal record for life. A criminal conviction will also make it difficult to gain entry into graduate school or obtain a job, especially if it is a government job that requires security clearance. College students also risk losing scholarships, can get kicked out of school or even risk losing their eligibility for federal financial aid.

If your college student gets charged with a drug crime this school year contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

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