Going to college is an important and exciting step in any young person's life. It is an opportunity to start fresh and try new things; for many students, it is also the first time they will feel independent.
Most students are now halfway through the school year and have started to feel more comfortable pressing boundaries and navigating adulthood. Unfortunately, this means that students are as capable as ever of making some serious missteps. With all this in mind, it is a good time to remind parents and students of some of the common mistakes young people make in school and what may result from these mistakes.
- DWI/DUI arrests: Drinking and college often go hand-in-hand. Students are therefore quite susceptible to making mistakes like drinking and driving. Penalties for drivers can include fines, jail time and license suspension.
- Sexual assault allegations: Students in Virginia could find themselves involved in allegations related to sexual assault. Because those involved in these situations are often teens and minors, the penalties for crimes like stalking, rape and battery can be severe. Punishments upon conviction could include lengthy prison sentences and requirements to register as a sex offender.
- Theft and robbery: As noted in this National Center for Education Statistics article, tens of thousands of property and personal crimes have been committed at colleges in recent years. These crimes, which are often motivated by factors like lowered inhibitions and financial desperation, can result in steep fines, jail time and restitution.
It should also be noted that students convicted of these crimes can face penalties from the school. They could be expelled, suspended from sports teams and other extracurricular activities, and lose critical scholarship funds.
Considering what is at stake for college students facing criminal allegations, it is a good idea to take defense of these crimes seriously and consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Failure to do so could result in legal missteps that exacerbate the situation and result in consequences that could have otherwise been avoided.