Skip to main content

My 18 year old son was charged with a class c misdemeanor for pot on a university campus. What as a parent should I expected

Willowbrook, IL |
Attorney answers 5

Posted

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.

My Answers are only informational in nature and DO NOT constitute legal advice. This is a good thing because I like to speak to my clients and hear them out before giving them direct, personalized advice. Call, Email, or Text me to receive actual advice. Sincerely, Vijay R. Sharma, President of the Law Office of Vijay R. Sharma VRSLegal.com

Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs

Posted

Mr. Sharma makes some good observations. There is a hidden problem in there to which I do not know the answer offhand but which the lawyer who winds up representing your son will need to be clear on. What does "convicted" mean under the Higher Education Act? There are a number of generally lenient and favorable dispositions available in Illinois (supervision being the most obvious) that are not considered "convictions" for purposes of Illinois law. Before jumping at an offer of supervision, however, your son's lawyer will have to be sure that it will not be deemed a conviction for purposes of the Higher Education Act, in which case it could have serious financial consequences, if no others. Be careful of the potential collateral consequences in this case of a superficially attractive disposition.

Scott Andrew Wineberg

Scott Andrew Wineberg

Posted

What Mr. Sharma failed to paste from the Act is the following definition of "controlled substance:" (3) DEFINITIONS- In this subsection, the term `controlled substance' has the meaning given the term in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)).'. Cannabis is not a controlled substance.

Scott Andrew Wineberg

Scott Andrew Wineberg

Posted

I stand corrected. I was thinking under State law cannabis is not a controlled substance. It's different under Federal law.

Vijay Ratan Sharma

Vijay Ratan Sharma

Posted

Yes, cannabis is. And the Feds give money to schools so long as schools follow their rules. I researched before I answered. It's an easy mistake to make and I typically always get obsessive over the details.

Posted

It's great that he told you. I would definitely hire an attorney and try to get something like drug school and the case dismissed, you do not want this on his record.

Posted

With all the scary information you have been presented, you need to know that a Class C misdemeanor is a relatively minor offense. Your son should have an experienced attorney to assure the best possible outcome. There are many good lawyers near you. who must likely will be able to handle this case with something less than an outcome of conviction.

Posted

You should hire an attorney that can review the reports to see if there are any motions that can be filed and get the case dismissed. Also, an attorney will help negotiate the best outcome to try and keep the arrest off your son's records.

Louis J. Meyer
Meyer & Kiss, LLC
Offices in Chicago, Peoria & Rockford
312-765-0100 or 309-713-3751

Posted

I agree with all my respected colleagues that this matter requires a professional attorney for the future career and educational plans may be greatly compromised as a result of a less than adequate handling of this matter.

DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602 http://alexanderivakhnenko.com

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer