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Can someone go to college with a drug case still open and not completed?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was arrested ten years ago and never completed my court case and now I want to return to college and get my AA degree in Substance Abuse Counseling. But I am concern that I won'b be able to get financial aid assistance. Can I receive financial aid?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You never completed a court imposed drug program and now you want to be a Substance Abuse counselor? You may have licensing problems if one is required. Beyond that someone who cannot complete his own drug program is not well-positioned to give advice to others.

  2. Most likely not because they will run your criminal record. Your bigger issue is when you apply for a Substance Abuse Counselor license through the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California. You will be required to submit to a full background check with fingerprints and everything. This will hold up your application. I have represented several individuals with similar issues, two of whom had court cases going back to 1989 and one from 1991. Often times, an attorney can clear up your court case without many issues. Give me a call if you would like a consultation.

    Seth Weinstein, Esq.
    Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
    (310) 707-7131

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.

  3. Your question does not make clear the exact status of your court case when you failed to complete it. Many people, those with and without drug issues, do not understand what is going on in court and what they have done. It is natural since judges and attorneys really speak a foreign language for the average lay person. From the question, it is not clear whether you have a conviction or not, whether there is a warrant, whether the case is a felony or a misdemeanor and a number of other facts necessary to answer the question. There are financial aid issues with respect to convictions. You need professional help which starts with contacting an attorney, who is qualified to examine the record and advise you appropriately. You have to overcome your fear and take action to move forward with your goals. If you have been out of trouble and have taken steps to deal with your problems, you have the potential to help a lot of people in the future, but as you are aware you must get your own house in order to proceed. There are many people in the substance abuse and counseling field who have overcome their problems and gone on too help other people. A notable example is Betty Ford who suffered as an addict in the White House, and went on to live a life in recovery, establish a treatment center, and contribute to thousands of people recovering from their addictions. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 1992. She was a true inspiration.

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