Criminal convictions can have a major effect on students’ lives

Students or young adults who are convicted of a crime may face certain short-term and long-term consequences.

High school students in Tennessee and across the U.S. spend countless hours struggling to get into the best colleges and universities in the nation. Not only is it extremely difficult to get accepted into some of these exclusive educational institutions, students must work hard to maintain their grades and their positions in the university. In addition to learning, however, a number of students may get caught up in excessive partying and participating in other illegal activities. As a result, students run the risk of getting arrested, charged and convicted of committing a crime. Whether charged with a misdemeanor or felony, these convictions can have significant implications on peoples' education, as well as their upcoming careers.

Educational implications

While every university has different policies regarding students and criminal activity, most schools implement disciplinary action to students who are convicted of a crime. The steps taken to discipline the student often varies depending on the type of crime that was committed. Smaller infractions may lead to a short school suspension or probation period. Felonies and other larger crimes may cause the student to be kicked out of the university altogether.

Long-term consequences

Students who are simply out to have a good time may not understand the full scope of their actions. Even misdemeanor criminal charges can have a serious effect on people's lives, immediately and in the future. Not only are there short term consequences, such as fines, probation and potential jail time, there are long term ramifications to consider as well. These unspoken sanctions and issues that arise are otherwise known as collateral consequences, and they can wreak havoc on peoples' lives and future opportunities.

For example, a criminal record can affect a student's ability to be accepted into a university degree program, be approved for financial aid or even graduate with a degree. In addition to these hindrances, young people with a criminal conviction may be unable to obtain housing or have access to certain government programs. These charges can literally follow people around for the rest of their lives.

Where should you turn?

When you are faced with criminal charges and feel overwhelmed when it comes time to make crucial decisions involving your future, you may need someone to turn to who has extensive knowledge in the area of criminal law. An attorney in Tennessee who has experience in these types of situations may be essential to your case. Not only may they be able to answer your questions, but they may be helpful in exploring your legal options and ensuring that your rights are upheld in court.