College can be an exciting and pivotal time in a young person’s life. For most young people, college is the first time away from home and parents. This results in a huge amount of freedom and college students are likely to succumb to peer pressure.
The sad truth is that most criminal offenses committed by college students are the result of serious lapses in judgment. This shortsightedness can be extremely costly in terms of a student’s career prospects and future.
Criminal convictions can result in a record, jail time, and/or significant fines being imposed. If you are a student facing charges, a Birmingham student defense lawyer can help to protect your rights and build your defense.
Some of the more common types of crimes that college students are charged with and convicted of include drug crimes (especially drug possession or distribution), alcohol-related driving offenses (e.g., DUI’s), domestic violence, date rape, sex crimes, possessing fake identification cards, vandalism, urinating in public, and traffic tickets. Drunk driving and DUI’s are extremely common among college students, as is underage drinking, and an experienced college student lawyer in the Birmingham area is vital to your defense.
A criminal record can have a significant impact on a college student’s future educational opportunities. Virtually all graduate programs and professional schools, including medical schools, law schools, and business schools, require that prior criminal convictions be disclosed on admissions applications.
Moreover, virtually all state licensing boards, such as the State Medical Board and State Board of Law Examiners, require that prior criminal records and convictions be disclosed as part of their application processes.
Criminal convictions obtained in college can also have a significant impact on a student’s future job and career prospects. More and more employers are performing criminal background checks on prospective employees and are requesting that criminal convictions be disclosed. By obtaining the help of a Birmingham student defense attorney, you can be proactive in mitigating these potential lifetime consequences.
Virtually every institution of higher learning has a college handbook which includes a student code of conduct. Students are expected to abide by this code of conduct always while in attendance at the college or university.
In addition to (or concurrent with) criminal proceedings, the college or university’s disciplinary board will most likely conduct a disciplinary hearing. The college student may then be subject to penalties, including academic probation, forced counseling, suspension, or even expulsion. Moreover, a disciplinary proceeding may result in loss of the student’s financial aid or scholarships to the college or university.
Convictions for drug offenses or sexual assault could also affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. For example, FAFSA requires that a student discloses any drug convictions obtained during the time in which they receive financial aid. A drug conviction could jeopardize the student’s continued eligibility for financial aid.
If you or someone you know is a college student who has been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, you need experienced legal representation. An experienced student defense lawyer in Birmingham is available to represent you at any criminal proceedings, as well as at college disciplinary board hearings.
It is important to have legal representation during every stage of your case, in order to minimize the effects that a criminal conviction will have on your academic and professional future.