A grand jury investigating the death of an underage fraternity pledge, who died after a night of forced drinking, lambasted Penn State University and its administration. The report blames the university for turning a blind eye to a litany of incidents at the school and in its fraternity system. Citing the school’s “shocking apathy” toward underage and excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and even assaults, the report calls on Penn State to do more to prevent such behavior.

One potential consequence of this very-public dressing-down of Penn State is increased scrutiny of students, in general, and particularly members of fraternities and sororities. Students who are accustomed to a lax atmosphere in which to enjoy adult beverages or other substances may suddenly find themselves in handcuffs — and that can end a party quite quickly.

Students who are facing such legal trouble need to take an arrest and potential criminal charges quite seriously. The long-term consequences of a criminal conviction can be devastating not only to a student’s career potential, but also to his or her ability to complete a college education. For example, students with a drug conviction may be barred from receiving federal student aid.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help mitigate the results of an arrest or a criminal charge and navigate the legal system. Whether a student has been arrested for drunk driving, underage drinking, or faces drug-related charges, that person should not try and handle things on their own. An experienced local attorney is not only a knowledgeable advocate, but often has long-standing working relationships with law enforcement and prosecutors. This kind of experience and such relationships can help calm the rough seas of the criminal process.

Source: Altoona Mirror, “PSU blasted in grand jury report,” Marc Levy, Dec. 19, 2017