Drug charges range in severity from basic possession offenses to trafficking, manufacturing and distribution felonies. Whether the state accuses you of possessing a prescription drug that you should not have or of distributing medication to others, you likely know that there could be jail time and fines assessed because of your criminal charges.
However, there are other consequences that you may face which could drastically impact your opportunities in the future. These side effects of criminal charges can be as damaging as the criminal penalties imposed by the courts. What consequences that you may face outside of the court system could affect your rights after a Texas drug charge?
Loss of professional licensing
Whether you are a nurse or an accountant, you need a Texas state license to continue performing your job. Unfortunately, the mistakes that you make outside of work could potentially have long-term consequences for your career.
The state licensing board overseeing your profession will likely discover your criminal conviction when you apply for a license or renew an existing one. They could also discover it before your renewal if someone files a complaint about you. You will face disciplinary actions after a criminal conviction that could include the loss of your professional license.
Difficulty securing financial aid
There was a time not long ago when even a minor drug offense would permanently prevent you from qualifying for federal student aid. Lawmakers have changed that rule. Drug offenses now only result in temporary ineligibility. However, private scholarship organizations and institutions of higher learning may not offer financial aid to those with drug crimes in their background.
Trouble securing new jobs
Even when it has been several years since your arrest and conviction, perspective employers will continue to see the offense when you apply for jobs. Your criminal record could potentially last for the rest of your life and will negatively influence what employers think of you during the hiring process. If you are in the running for a promotion with one other worker, your criminal record could very well be the deciding factor.
The best way to avoid the secondary or social consequences of drug charges in Texas will be to defend yourself against criminal allegations. Going to court to defend yourself can help you avoid a criminal record stemming from drug charges and all the consequences that record will create.