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“I give Mr. Spano the highest possible recommendation. Mr. Spano helped me navigate a somewhat unorthodox legal matter, did so quickly, and always kept me informed.”

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Proven Criminal Defense In Upstate New York

What to do if your college-aged child is accused of a crime

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Going away to college may be one of the first adult moves that a teenager makes. It can also be a major transition for their parents. Adults go from providing daily support for their high school students to having limited communication with new college students.

It can be a difficult adjustment process for everyone in the family when a teenager leaves for college. Unfortunately, not all students in New York attend university uneventfully for four years and graduate with a degree. A small but noticeable portion of college students end up facing legal challenges before they finish their education.

What should parents do when a college student gets arrested while away at school?

Realize the shortcomings of the tough-love approach

Many parents supporting college students want their young adults to learn about the real world. Few experiences provide a more brutal wake-up call than arrest and criminal prosecution. While parents may want their college students to learn from their mistakes, leaving them to fend for themselves after an arrest could put them at a permanent disadvantage. College students may lack the ability to think about the long-term consequences and the resources necessary to respond appropriately. Parents may need to step in and guide their children while they resolve the criminal issues they face.

Provide practical support for legal charges

There are several kinds of practical support that parents can provide a college student accused of a crime. The first involves educating a young adult about the law they allegedly violated and the penalties they might face. Oftentimes, parents require the assistance of a lawyer to familiarize themselves with New York criminal statutes and penalties. They also need to explain the educational consequences of a criminal conviction. From a loss of enrollment to financial aid penalties, there are many ways in which a guilty plea or conviction could affect a college student’s education.

Once a student understands the true repercussions of their actions, they may commit to self-improvement and cooperate with attempts to defend against those charges. Parents may also need to help their children address mental health or substance abuse issues that may have contributed to their arrest.

Left to their own devices, young adults facing charges might plead guilty or fail to mount a proper defense. The conviction that results could completely undo the benefits of pursuing a college education and might prevent a student from finishing their degree. Parents who understand the possible consequences of a college-years crime may feel more certain about their decision to support their students.