As a college student, you’ve worked hard to get where you are. You’re probably paying an arm and a leg for tuition. You have career aspirations, hopes and dreams for the future. And, of more immediate concern, you may need to get (or keep) a job to make ends meet. So what should you do when you find yourself facing criminal charges?
How it could impact you
It happens more often than you’d think. Wild parties, late-night drinking and not-so-legal substance consumption are common facets of college life. Getting busted can lead to not only an unpleasant night behind bars, but also long-term consequences such as:
- A tarnished criminal record
- Steep fines, community service and jail time
- A suspended driver’s license
- Suspension or expulsion from school
Even misdemeanor charges can have a tremendous impact. A criminal record alone can impede your job prospects and stand in the way of grad school, professional licensing and countless other opportunities.
How to avoid making it worse
You can’t take back the mistake that led to criminal proceedings. But now is your chance to turn things around going forward. Here’s how to avoid making the situation worse:
- Exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t try to talk your way out of this. Never speak to law enforcement or prosecutors without first consulting a lawyer.
- Be careful with social media. Never post about your legal troubles on social media. Photos of parties, drinking and the like can get you into further hot water.
- Get a lawyer involved as soon as possible. Don’t take chances with your future. A good lawyer can help you navigate the charges while working to safeguard your rights and opportunities.
With the right approach, criminal charges don’t have to spell doom for your college career.