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Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

September is nearing. That means that teens and young adults all over the U.S. will be headed back to college within the coming weeks. The college years are often processed as a time for exploration. Students learn about themselves and their world as they study new subjects, meet new people and engage in new activities. It is important to understand that not all activities one might engage in while at college are necessarily legal, even if they seem to be and even if numerous peers are embracing these experiences.

Before students head off or back to college, it is important that they brush up on criminal law basics, so that they do not need to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney during their years of exploration. Of course, if a sticky situation does arise, it is generally a better idea to call an attorney than to avoid doing so. However, making smart decisions upfront is generally a preferable course of action.

College students tend to understand certain basics of criminal law, including the fact that drunk driving is both a poor personal choice and an illegal act. However, not all college students realize that underage drinking is illegal, even if they attend a “wet” campus and they are not planning on driving. Having an underage drinking conviction on your record can keep you from attending graduate school and can result in fines, disciplinary action by the school and a criminal record for life. Understand these potential consequences before you decide to drink underage.

In addition, it is important for college students to understand that limits upon their free speech do exist, so it is important to consult an attorney before engaging in any sort of protest or artistic project that could land you in jail.

Source: Findlaw Blotter, “7 Facts About Criminal Law Every College Student Should Know,” Brett Snider, Aug. 11, 2014

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