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What is the definition of drug possession on campus? What constitutes drug charges?

Drug charges can vary from simple possession of a marijuana joint found in your dorm room to the unauthorized use, possession, and/or distribution of a controlled substance like Adderall. Larger-scale operations may lead to conspiracies brought by federal prosecutors, involving wiretaps, secretly subpoenaed bank records and search warrants.

What are the consequences for drug possession, use or distribution of drugs by a college student?

Typically mere possession is a misdemeanor offense punishable by fines and jail time of less than a year. Defending a possession case requires a thorough understanding of how drug treatment and special drug court programs may affect your case. Selling or even giving illegal drugs to another person may result in criminal charges for distribution of those drugs. Distribution of drugs usually is charged as a felony with jail time potentially a year or more.

What are Washington D.C.’s regulations for marijuana use and possession?

In Washington, D.C., marijuana has been decriminalized meaning that the punishment for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is only a $25 ticket and confiscation of the drug. The smell of marijuana is also no longer probable cause for a police officer to investigate an individual. However, you can still be arrested if you smoke or consume marijuana in public, possess more than one ounce, or sell any amount of marijuana.

However, universities still consider possession or use of marijuana, even below the legally allowed amount, a violation of the drug policy of the student code of conduct.

How are drug crimes investigated? How does my campus investigate drug crimes?

Drug crimes may be investigated by the local police, FBI, DEA, other  federal law enforcement agencies and joint task forces run by both local and federal law enforcement.  College and universities investigate drug crimes on their own and with federal and local law enforcement.  In the District of Columbia, the Metropolitan Police Department communicates regularly with campus police and university administrators. Consequently, an off-campus arrest for a drug-related offense will likely trigger on-campus disciplinary proceedings against you for violating your college/university’s code of student conduct.

What are the consequences for charges involving drug use, possession, or distribution in the District of Columbia?

Drug possession or possession of a controlled substance charges can range anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony, which includes up to $3000 in fines or a short jail sentence, depending on the type of drug, amount, and intent. Sale and distribution is usually more severe, with hefty fines and longer incarceration periods. If you are facing criminal charges for drug possession, distribution, or sale, contact your student defense attorney to ensure you understand your rights and options.

What are my college or university’s consequences for violations involving drug use or possession?

Common sanctions include loss of campus housing, probation, suspension, or even expulsion; however, drug possession consequences may also include fines, participation in a drug abuse program, and a drug evaluation through an outside service at the student’s expense. Typically, manufacturing, distribution, or possession of drugs with intent to sell will result in more severe charges on the first offense, with either a one-year suspension or expulsion verdict.

What should I do if I am accused or charged or cited for drug possession?

A conviction for drug charges may hurt your employment prospects, adversely affect future security exchanges and background checks and result in suspension or expulsion from your university. If you are accused of a drug charge you need to protect your education and future employment by immediately contacting and hiring a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending college students against drug possession charges.

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