Criminal charges are never a welcome event, but for young college students just starting to navigate adult life, they can be particularly damaging.
Along with potential jail time, fines or court-ordered community service, the non-legal penalties of a conviction can impact a young person’s entire future.
Loss of educational opportunities
Most colleges and universities demand excellence and subject students to a code of conduct. If the criminal activity is also a violation of the institution’s rules, then the student may face suspension or expulsion from school. Admissions officers may deny any pending undergraduate or graduate school applications based on behavior that does not align with university values. Additionally, any funding from federal financial aid or private scholarships may be in jeopardy, which can severely impede educational endeavors going forward.
Ineligibility for professional licensure
Students who engage in criminal conduct resulting in a conviction may still succeed in their education programs, but face difficulty when seeking a state or national professional license. Especially in legal, medical and government positions that require licensure, ethics boards review background checks to weed out potential bad actors in their respective fields.
Mental health decline
Depending on the circumstances of the case, a young offender may experience tremendous stress while dealing with criminal charges. Feelings of guilt, worry and anxiety about present and future consequences can be a catalyst for deep depressive episodes or compounding erratic behavior.
While taking risks and making mistakes is a normal part of human growth and development, criminal accusation and conviction can derail a young person’s life in many ways. If your college student is facing charges, it is important to understand the Florida justice system and criminal court process.