College students make mistakes, from skipping class to having risky interactions with drugs and alcohol. For the most part, young people overcome these missteps and learn from them. However, that can be quite difficult if a mistake results in criminal charges.
Under these circumstances, a young person could wind up saddled with a criminal record and abandoned college aspirations, which is why it is crucial to defend against criminal charges to protect a student’s future.
Impact of common college offenses
There are several criminal offenses that Tennessee students commonly get involved in.
- Assault – Getting in fights, allegations of sexual misconduct
- Drunk driving – Being intoxicated or being under 21 and driving after drinking
- Drug charges – Use, possession or sale of marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs
- Property damage – Vandalism, destruction of property
- Theft – Burglary and motor vehicle thefts (which are among the most common criminal incidents at postsecondary institutions)
Depending on the details and degree of these offenses, a young person could be facing some harsh consequences, including:
- Jail or prison time
- Having to register as a sex offender
- Fines and restitution
- Stains on a criminal record
There are also institutional penalties a student may face, including expulsion or loss of scholarship funding.
Many of these can be challenging to recover from, whether a person graduates or leaves school. However, it is not impossible, particularly when a person has legal representation.
Protecting a student’s life after a criminal offense
When someone is facing misdemeanor or felony charges, parents and students must take them seriously. They will not go away on their own. There are legal strategies to minimize the impact that charges can have on someone’s life.
There may be diversion programs in which a person could participate and pre-trial intervention programs that can reduce or suspend potential sentences. Mental health and drug courts that focus on treatments versus incarceration can also be an option.
In other cases, defenses to charges could involve contesting police procedures, challenging evidence and negotiating to drop charges or penalties.
Students make mistakes, and those mistakes can be quite severe. However, these strategies and options can make it easier for a person to put their missteps behind them and focus on the future.