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3 tips for when your college student faces criminal charges

You send your adult child off to an institution of higher learning to gain an education and life experience, but sometimes other things happen. When you become aware that your college student faces criminal charges, you may not know what to do.

How you respond can have an impact on the case. Therefore, it is wise to know these tips to help your child get as good an outcome as possible.

1. Stay away from social media

No doubt your college child has multiple social media accounts, and now is not the time for him or her to be on them. Social media activity can play a role in the courtroom, and a seemingly innocent or private post can have a significant influence on the outcome of a case. Tell your child to cease social media usage for now, including venting about the charges or legal process. If there is favorable evidence on social media, let your attorney know.

2. Work with the school

When your college student faces criminal charges, school discipline is likely to follow, even if the case is not over yet or your child receives a verdict of innocence. Stay informed about the school's policies regarding alleged criminal activity, and cooperate with administrators. Severe consequences are possible whether a conviction occurs, such as loss of scholarships, campus employment, extracurricular involvement or even enrollment. Note that the university's disciplinary action and the judicial system are not the same, so the outcome of each may be different.

3. Take the case seriously

It can be tempting to dismiss the supposed conduct as just a common mistake that is part of going into adulthood and will stay in the past, especially if the offense seems minor. However, do not underestimate the long-lasting effects criminal charges can have on your child's life, with or without a conviction. Your son or daughter may face obstacles in securing a job or obtaining a professional license. With certain convictions, specific professions may no longer be an option.

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