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How criminal charges can affect your college career

Criminal charges are a serious matter at any stage in life, but charges that come during your college years can be particularly harmful. Criminal charges and an eventual conviction can put a stop to your educational plans and thus lead to serious issues with your future work life.

While anyone may make a mistake and end up on the wrong side of the law, if you are a college student, it is especially important for you to keep a clean record so that you do not put your college education and future career at risk. Here are a few examples of how criminal charges can have a negative impact on your college career:

Underage drinking and liquor charges

Many college students are under the age of 21, exposing them to the risk of criminal charges for underage drinking, which is prevalent on college campuses. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016, authorities reported a total of 57 liquor law arrests and 314 liquor law disciplinary referrals. These figures do not take into account public drunkenness or DUI/DWI charges. Underage drinking charges can lead to disciplinary action and, depending on the seriousness of the offense, suspension or expulsion may result.

Penalties of charges and conviction

In addition to possible suspension or expulsion, you should also consider the fact that most colleges take criminal records into account in the admissions process. So even if college authorities expel you from your school, you may not be able to gain admission to a different university. Although expungement of your record may be an option, the best solution is to avoid a conviction. A strong criminal defense can help you mitigate the negative consequences of your criminal charges. 

If a judge convicts you of a crime such as underage drinking or DUI, you may face fines and even jail time in addition to a permanent criminal record. Do not take the risk of underestimating the seriousness of criminal charges and how they can negatively affect your college career. Seek an effective legal defense team as soon as possible so you can plan out a strategic pathway to clearing your record and moving forward.

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