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What to expect when your adult child is facing criminal charges

For college students and young people, one error in judgment can result in lifelong consequences. While some penalties aren’t as serious as others, a criminal charge can possibly limit your child’s professional and educational opportunities down the road.

If your college student is facing drug charges, you’ll want to know what to expect in the time following. Depending on the facts of their case, there may be programs that can help you minimize the consequences of a drug charge. For instance, if your child is a first-time drug offender, they may qualify for a conditional discharge. The charges can be dismissed following the successful completion of a probation program.

College drug policies

It’s also important to note that colleges have their own drug policies. Clemson, for example, prohibits the illicit or unauthorized manufacture, use, possession, distribution or dispersion of illegal drugs on University property or as part of any University activity. The University will take disciplinary action on students who violate the standards of conduct. The severity of sanctions will depend on the violation. This can apply to on or off campus activity, given the alleged conduct interferes with the functions and health and safety of the student(s) or University property.

Other consequences

Whether your student is approaching graduation or just starting the college journey, a run in with the law can hinder the success a student can achieve. Student athletes are especially subject to this, as athletic programs have specific drug policies for their athletes. An athletic department like the Clemson Tigers – 2016 NCAA college football champions – will not take having a student athlete with a record lightly.

Your student’s life can also change socially. Society can be brutal and with a DUI or drug charge, comes judgment. Your child’s reputation will no longer be the same and they will need you to be there for them. It is in the student’s best interest to change their social habits. If the charges remain, your student’s life will change in terms of employment. It is tempting to not disclose your drug charge on a job application, but lying always looks bad to employers and they will find out through a background check.

When talking with your kids about the dangers and risk of drug use, encourage them to think long-term. There are not only legal consequences when facing criminal charges, but it can also impact the rest of their life.


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