If you're a college student in Florida who has been hitting the books hard since the beginning of the 2016 school year, you're probably like many others who seek respite from their studies from time to time with friends. Perhaps your school has a common area where you can shoot pool, watch a movie or socialize. You may also live on a campus near a local town where the nightlife is bustling and merchants welcome local college students.
If your visit to town led to trouble with the law in a traffic stop on the way back to campus, you are certainly not the first college student to have faced such circumstances.
Whether the officer stopped you for driving over the speed limit, a broken tail light or suspected DUI, you were likely nervous and a little afraid. If the latter was the reason you were pulled over, and you were ultimately charged with a crime, you may be wondering how to minimize the potential negative impact of your current situation.
Common repercussions of DUI incidents in college
Whenever someone faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, a certain chain of events typically begins to unfold. The following are some of the most common aftermath events many college students experience following an arrest:
- You might have the opportunity to call home and tell your parents about your problem.
- Law enforcement officers may have informed your school's administrators of your situation.
- You may have asked about your options regarding your right to request criminal defense assistance.
- You may have been given a list of dates where you will be required to appear at court hearings and/or hearings at your school.
Whether this is your first offense or you have been through similar situations in the past, you may be at risk for suspension or academic probation. If you were on school property when the incident occurred, you may also have to attend alcohol and drug treatment classes.
Other possible consequences of DUI in college
In addition to the embarrassment of facing your parents, teachers and friends after your arrest for alleged drunk driving, you may face some of the following additional repercussions, even before your situation has been resolved in court:
- The revoking of an academic scholarship could occur.
- You may have difficulty meeting tuition payments if funds set aside for this purpose must be used to pay court costs and other expenses associated with your situation.
- If you are under legal drinking age, your school may enact a zero tolerance policy, thus placing you at risk for expulsion.
You no doubt hope to stay out of jail and avoid conviction, but are also probably hoping to get life back on track at school in order to earn your diploma and move forward to a happy, successful future.
If you request guidance from an experienced criminal attorney, you may be able to obtain as positive an outcome as possible both in court and at school. If your situation involved an auto accident and/or injury to another person, the penalties if convicted may be very severe. A skilled attorney can provide aggressive representation to protect your rights and explore all options available toward a strong defense.