College can be an exciting time filled with new responsibilities as well as new freedoms. Unfortunately, sometimes those freedoms can lead to circumstances in which your college student faces criminal charges. Underage drinking is one quite common way that college students come into contact with the criminal justice system, as is driving under the influence.
If law enforcement arrested your college student and charged him or her with a crime, whether it is alcohol- or drug-related or a different offense such as assault or theft, it is very important that you proceed in a strategic way to ensure a solid defense. A criminal record during your child's college years can scar his or her future in serious ways and can prevent access to opportunities for education and work.
Convictions and college expulsion
College disciplinary boards are responsible for determining whether or not to expel a student. Disciplinary board hearings are often held in addition to any criminal justice proceedings that your child may face. While every institution handles criminal matters differently, oftentimes students who face criminal charges also face disciplinary consequences according to their school's particular policy. It is important to understand how your child's university handles cases where their students face criminal charges and convictions. The discussion over whether to automatically expel students convicted of certain crimes is a current debate among administrators in higher education.
Convictions and future career
Criminal convictions can hinder your child's future employment opportunities. When most people think of the negative effect of criminal convictions on employment, they likely think that only felony convictions make a negative impact. However, even a misdemeanor conviction can have consequences for your child's future employment and other opportunities. In addition to hindering employment and internship applications, a conviction could also affect insurance premiums, driving privileges and housing.
An effective defense strategy is an essential component to helping your child have the best possible chance to avoid serious consequences stemming from an arrest. You should contact a criminal defense attorney who works with college students as soon as possible after your child's arrest and charges. A well-crafted defense can help your child have the best possible chance for a smooth future without permanent consequences from a conviction.