How a Criminal Record can Affect Students
News sources recently reported the results of an investigation involving college athletes that indicated that the University of Florida had the highest number of athletes that had been suspected of criminal activity. Police reports demonstrated that over the course of five years, 80 athletes were allegedly involved in 119 criminal incidents. Furthermore, 25 athletes were suspected to be involved in multiple incidents. However, due to their star athlete statuses, more than half of the cases were either dismissed or simply not pursued by prosecutors.
Unfortunately, many other students do not have fame on their side if they have a run-in with law enforcement officers. While many students may believe that minor violations of Florida law are just part of being in college, they often fail to realize the profound effect a criminal conviction can have on their future educational and professional opportunities.
Even minor convictions can affect your future
Many incidents involving the athletes were common criminal allegations against students, including:
- Underage drinking;
- Drug possession;
- Wrongful use of fireworks; and
- Stalking or harassing.
While many of these may be charged as misdemeanors, you should understand that even a misdemeanor conviction can have serious consequences.
In addition to the fines, court costs, probation, and possible jail time associated with criminal convictions, having a criminal record can cause you to be expelled from your college program. It may also limit your ability to be accepted into graduate programs and can prevent you from receiving a number of professional licenses. Additionally, convictions of certain offenses such as drug possession can prohibit you from receiving any federal financial aid including loans and grants.
A skilled defense lawyer can help you
In many of the cases involving star athletes, their cases were dismissed because of their access to qualified legal representation. There are many ways a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you avoid conviction and limit the consequences you may face for the criminal allegations. An attorney can present any relevant legal defenses, can identify violations of your constitutional rights, and can present evidence to negotiate with prosecutors to have them drop your case or negotiate a plea agreement that will have less of an effect on your life.
If you have already been convicted of a crime, a criminal defense lawyer can also examine whether or not you may qualify to have your record sealed or expunged, especially if you were a juvenile when the incident occurred. This can limit a school’s access to information regarding your arrest, charges, and the outcome of your case.
Discuss your situation with an experienced Boca Raton criminal defense attorney today
Having an experienced defense lawyer handling your case is imperative whether you are a student or not. Athletes and other famous individuals are not the only ones who can benefit from high quality legal representation and anyone accused of a crime should contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the law office of Lavalle Brown & Ronan, our Boca Raton criminal defense attorneys are waiting to help you defend against your charges, so call today at 888-646-1315 for help.