A prime student challenge: Does your child face a criminal charge?

So your son or daughter has graduated from high school and is now embarked on a journey sparked by hope and great future upsides. Such is the reality for many families across southwestern Ohio, an enclave where exciting educational opportunities exist for legions of young people.

That is evidenced by the sheer number and variety of post-secondary schools operating across the region. Colleges, universities and technical institutions liberally dot the landscape.

Those venues spell compelling new entry points for young people, most of whom are independently venturing forth for the first time in their lives. Books and classes feature prominently for them, but so too do bracing new opportunities for social engagement and interaction.

Candidly, that sometimes leads to trouble.

A criminal charge can pose a distinct challenge for a college student

Parents know where this is going. Moms and dads were once kids themselves and can remember well the urge to experiment and sometimes act out in response to peer pressure. Kids do that and, notwithstanding the insistence of a child in the late teens or early 20s that he or she is a full-fledged adult, that is simply not the case.

The fact is that young people off at school sometimes do confront criminal law challenges.  One authoritative legal overview of college student crime underscores that, noting a broad array of alleged misconduct committed by students. Commonly filed criminal charges include these:

  • Drug crimes (ranging widely from possession and cultivation to distribution, prescription medication fraud and additional offenses)
  • Sex crimes (often tied to disputes surrounding consent)
  • Fraud crimes (e.g., Internet-based offenses, fake ID)
  • Alcohol-linked crime (underage drinking, minor in possession, disorderly conduct and more)
  • Property crimes such as shoplifting, burglary and vandalism
  • Assault and other violent offenses

Responding meaningfully to a campus-based criminal charge

A student facing punitive blowback for alleged misconduct needs to counter that claim with a timely and proactive response. Young offenders are sometimes accorded the same treatment as older people charged with similar offenses, but that is far from routinely being the case. A judicial perspective that acknowledges rehabilitation and a second chance for juvenile offenders often allows for mitigation, but that result commonly occurs only through the studied and tailored input of proven criminal defense attorneys.

An experienced juvenile law legal team can aggressively pursue a strategy focused on elimination of criminal charges or their maximum reduction in a given case. Multiple outcomes featuring jail alternatives can often be explored. Criminal records can sometimes be sealed or expunged.

College life is an exciting and forward-looking experience for a young person. Purposeful action is sometimes needed to protect against potential downsides and help secure a promising future.