A criminal charge can have many repercussions including jail time, probation conditions and heft fines. Being convicted of a crime can have a significant impact on your future, but for college students, it can be particularly damaging. Unfortunately, certain charges are common against college students, including driving under the influence (DUI), drug possession, sexual assault, and underage drinking.
A criminal conviction can drastically impair a college student’s educational, work and travel opportunities. College students can also face additional penalties from their college or university depending on where the crime took place and whether it involved another university student or faculty or staff. Other times, even if your criminal case had nothing to do with your college or university, you may still be in violation of student codes of conduct and be subjected to student judicial hearings.
If a college student is convicted of a crime, colleges and universities can penalize students by academic probation, suspension or expulsion. Colleges and universities are able to mandate drug counseling, anger management counseling, or other conditions such as community service, in addition to the penalties imposed in your criminal case by the court. If a student is suspended or expelled, such penalties will be permanently placed on the student’s academic record, making it much more difficult to be admitted to other schools.
A federal or state drug conviction can affect your eligibility to apply for federal student aid loans and grants. If the conviction occurs during an academic year, your federal student aid can be suspended. If your financial aid has been suspended due to a drug-related offense, you may be liable for returning any financial aid you received during the loan period in which the offense occurred. You are able to regain eligibility by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program or by passing two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program. Additionally, if you are convicted of certain sexual offenses and you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for that offense, you cannot receive a Federal Pell Grant.
In a poor job market, minor arrests could make the difference between getting a job or not. Most employers conduct background checks as part of their initial hiring process. A criminal record can disqualify you from employment, even with only a misdemeanor.
Prior arrests can indicate an individual has issues with ethics and integrity. Even if you are highly qualified for a position, employers often view a criminal history as a liability.
If you are a college student facing criminal charges, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights and future. Contact a skilled DUI and criminal defense lawyer at the Skinner Law Firm who has extensive knowledge of criminal law and experience handling all types of criminal cases. To discuss your case and legal options, call us at 610-436-1410 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.