If you’ve already been convicted of a crime and have finished your sentence, then you’re in a position where you’re trying to put your life back together. If not, but have been charged with a crime, then this information may factor into whether or not you make the decision to hire a private lawyer.
Because college and financial aid can be just as difficult to secure as employment and housing when you’ve been convicted of a crime.
Drug offenses offer the biggest challenges.
Drug offenses, even misdemeanor drug offenses, bar you from receiving federal student aid of any kind. If you’ve been convicted of other crimes you can receive aid, if you meet all the other requirements.
This is also true of federal grants created to help inmates study while they’re still in prison.
It’s harder to get private loans, too.
Don’t think you can simply flip to private loans. Any criminal conviction can make some lenders shy away from issuing a private student loan.
Private loans can be dangerous, too. They come with higher interest rates, and don’t offer the same options for deferment, forebearance, forgiveness, or income-sensitive payment that federal loans do.
College admissions can be problematic with any kind of conviction.
Only a handful of states prohibit colleges and universities from asking about criminal history on their applications: Louisiana, Maryland, and Washington. And nationwide, 66% of all colleges and universities ask.
Thus, if you’re trying to apply for college here in New York you could face some significant barriers before you even have to worry about paying for it.
You may still have options.
In New York, it is possible to have some criminal records sealed under some circumstances. If you’ve got no more than 2 misdemeanor convictions, or 1 felony and 1 misdemeanor, and you’ve been crime-free for ten years, you might qualify.
You might also qualify if you took certain drug treatment programs. Sealing your records can help broaden your options. While the federal government can still see your record, other organizations won’t be able to, including potential employers and educational facilities. Our offices can help with this process.
Ideally, of course, you’ll have legal support that keeps you from getting convicted in the first place. If you’ve been charged with a crime, don’t wait. Protect your career future by calling our office today.
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