If your child is going to college in the fall, they are likely thinking about the classes they will take and where they will live. Preparing for college life can be exciting and fun, but parents would be wise to talk to teens about the realities of criminal offenses in college.
A slip-up in college can have a devastating toll on a child’s academic experience and future. Parents can help their children appreciate this by talking to them about a few areas before leaving for college.
Juvenile versus adult offenses
Going off to college can make your child feel more like an adult, but that is not always a good thing. For instance, if they commit a crime, being charged as an adult can be far more devastating than facing charges as a juvenile.
Thus, when your child turns 18, remind them that the courts treat them as adults, not juveniles. The approaches to consequences shift from rehabilitation to penalization. Further, adult courts do not protect a person’s privacy in the same way juvenile courts do, and juveniles go through hearings, whereas adults go to trial.
Long-term penalties of assault
Physical and sexual assault are hot-button issues, particularly on college campuses. When young people are away from home, taking risks and engaging in behaviors like drinking and using drugs, the risk of assault rises considerably.
Talk to your child now about getting consent before sexual encounters and walking away from fights.
An impulsive decision like this could result in criminal charges, dismissal from school and possibly prison.
Whether your child has had alcohol before or not, drinking at college can almost seem like a rite of passage. Too often, young people overdo it and wind up making poor – and possibly dangerous – choices.
Not only can drinking result in criminal charges for underage drinking or drunk driving, but it can impair judgment and lead to some unwise, regrettable actions.
Navigating this tricky transition
Talking to your child about these issues may seem uncomfortable or unnecessary. However, doing so can help them make informed, mature decisions when they go off to college.
If they do wind up in trouble, parents can call The Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222 to talk to us about how to protect a child from harsh criminal penalties.