Legions of Pennsylvania parents send their sons and daughters off to college or university each year, with obvious pride and high hopes for their future. It’s a big day – indeed, a seminal moment – when a child embarks for the first time on a journey of independence and life exploration.
Moms and dads well remember back to the time when they too first spread wings as young adults. Exciting moments are on the horizon for a cherished child. New friends await. Educational challenges promise to test perceptions and lead to a more mature outlook. Social opportunities will spur emotional growth and yield sustained friendships.
Yet there is this ready potential, too: the possibility for new involvements and adventure away from home to result in undesired interaction with police officers.
Candidly, that happens every day. Young people – often students at post-secondary institutions – sometimes engage in behaviors and activities that place them under the direct scrutiny of law enforcers. The demographic comprising individuals from their late teens to early 20s is at a notable stage marked by a transition from sometimes rash and uninformed conduct to a more mature adulthood.
To wit: Mistakes are still made. Decisions aren’t routinely well considered. That can lead to legal hot water.
Common legal challenges that PA students commonly face
Young people in college and linked educational environments can confront a wide universe of legal challenges. One area that often yields a punitive police response is the vast and diverse realm of drug crimes. One authoritative Pennsylvania legal source addressing criminal drug charges and penalties underscores the broad nature of unlawful offenses and their potentially onerous consequences. Students commonly face charges such as these:
- Possession (tied to varied amounts of marijuana or stronger controlled substances)
- Drug cultivation or manufacture
- Prescription drug infractions
Another area where problems often arise for students is drinking-related offenses. Those span a wide gamut and can lead to charges like these:
- Underage possession or consumption
- Fake ID
- Vandalism and assault
- Providing alcohol to a minor
- Public intoxication
- Drunk driving
Proactively responding to a student criminal charge
Young people sometimes commit a crime without even realizing they did so or knowing that cited behavior was unlawful.
Even so, harsh – and sometimes permanent – downsides can attach. A student criminal offense might result in suspension or loss of a scholarship. It can yield a jail sentence and punitively heavy fines. It might produce a criminal record that mars future opportunities across a broad spectrum.
Rehabilitative outcomes are often realized for young offenders, but they are far from automatic. A young person – or that person’s parents – might reasonably seek to contact a proven and empathetic criminal defense attorney without delay in the wake of a criminal charge.