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Lutins & Pilgreen, PC - Family, Criminal law
Roanoke Family Law And Criminal Defense
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Virginia college students need to safeguard their legal rights

Parents in Roanoke and surrounding communities spanning Southwest Virginia understandably focus closely on their children.

That is what parents do, of course, with the fostering of their offspring’s best interests being constant at every stage of growth. That love and attention never flags. It is just as evident when a son or daughter heads off to college or university as it was when they were a toddler.

In fact, many parents harbor ratcheted-up concerns for children who are semi-independent for the first time and experiencing new freedoms in a dorm or apartment away from home.

Here’s why: Parents were once kids themselves. They can now look back at that special period of their lives with a nuanced perspective they never had while being immersed in it.

And they know this: Notwithstanding that their child is a reflective and impressive young person, he or she is not fully established as a young adult. Post-high school life is an adjustment period for individuals who are unquestionably still juveniles. The sound decisions they make are sometimes tempered by immaturity and lapses in judgment. They can be susceptible to peer pressure. Any combination of those factors can land them in legal hot water.

Legal challenges that arrested college students commonly face

Many parents don’t require any hints to help them tick off some trouble-inducing catalysts that could ensnare their child on a college or university campus. A representative bulleted list of criminal charges often filed against students is long and varied, and contains entries like these:

  • Alcohol-related offenses (e.g., underage drinking, minor in possession, fake ID, drunk and disorderly conduct and more)
  • Consensual issues (especially involving alleged sexual misconduct)
  • Assaults (for example, fights in dorms and at bars and sporting venues
  • Drug offenses, ranging widely from possession and sale/distribution to cultivation and prescription drug violations

A bottom-line reality concerning many of those offenses is that a legally targeted young person often never even considered the illegal aspects linked with a potential arrest. In fact, young offenders frequently underestimate the adverse consequences of a criminal charge. And they sometimes act without knowledge that their conduct is even unlawful.

Students need to smartly and proactively address criminal charges

A criminal conviction can yield many adverse consequences for a student, ranging from jail time and imposed fines to financial aid forfeiture and school discipline.

Most importantly, an arrest might result in a permanent criminal record, which can cast negative ripples for a lifetime.

Parents and students should take prompt and purposeful steps that challenge the potential for that outcome to ever ensue. An experienced legal defense team with demonstrated advocacy in juvenile representation can fight hard for an optimal outcome in a given case.

J. Emmette Pilgreen IV
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