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College life: great opportunities, but sometimes legal challenges

| Jul 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

It might be both logical and beneficial to position this criminal defense blog post from the perspective of parents. It addresses legal challenges that sometimes confront State College students at Penn State and other educational outlets. Those young people don’t always readily appreciate the potential downsides linked with a youthful indiscretion, but moms and dads are likely to be instantly attuned to the possible consequences.

Here’s a point that instantly rings true with almost-adults who populate college campuses: Most of them aren’t far removed from the sheltered environs of home, and they are eager to embark on new experiences and adventures.

A proven Pennsylvania criminal defense legal source underscores that sense of excitement. It notes that, “College campuses are places of growth, learning and, hopefully, fun.”

Many students fully appreciate those first two campus-tied components but will readily profess that it’s fun they’re primarily after.

That means new friends, new romantic encounters and new haunts. And it also brings new exposure for many young people to things like alcohol, drugs and sexual experiences. Those involvements spell a rite of passage for legions of college students.

And they also sometimes spell trouble.

Why do many college students get into legal hot water?

Quick segue back to this post’s introductory nod to parents. Moms and dads routinely extol the virtues of their kids and recognize their blooming potential. But they were once kids themselves and, if they went to college, remember well that they were often impressionable, susceptible to peer pressure and prone to taking some questionable risks. Like their college sons and daughters now, they thought back then of fun, without much regard to “what might go wrong.”

Which means this:  They can well appreciate that a child might encounter a legal challenge when away at school.

Common criminal charges that college students face

It’s hardly surprising that alcohol-related offenses are especially common on college campuses. Those can range prominently from underage drinking to drunk driving.

Many other criminal charges feature as well, though. Especially prevalent is alleged wrongdoing like disorderly conduct or assault (sometimes sexual in nature and linked to issues surrounding consent) or possession of illegal drugs.

Young people often inadequately appreciate the stark downsides that can attach to an arrest and a filed criminal charge.

Again, that is far less likely the case for parents. They know that a permanent criminal record can materially mar future opportunities for their children, sometimes for a lifetime. And in some cases, it can yield school expulsion and even jail time.

There is often much that a knowledgeable and proactive defense attorney can do to mitigate the downsides of a criminal charge facing a college student.

An optimal outcome in such a case can potentially make a world of difference.