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7 Things College Students Need to Think About if They’re Facing Charges

Posted On: June 4th, 2021 by Bradley J. Groene
College students walking to class

If you’re in college and have been charged with a crime, it’s time to give us a call. A misdemeanor or felony conviction during college can have a profound impact on your education, career, and future.

The best thing to do is work with a criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid jail time and other harsh penalties.

Consequences of Criminal Convictions During College

Here are seven things you need to think about:

1. You Could Lose Your License

Many criminal charges result in a driver’s license suspension. Without your license, you may have trouble getting to and from campus. You may have to rely on public transportation, friends, family, and rideshares. These methods can be less convenient, less reliable, and costly.

2. You Could Lose Financial Aid

Criminal charges can impact federal student loans and scholarships. The federal government can suspend your eligibility for student aid if you’re convicted of a drug offense.

You also can’t receive the federal Pell Grant if you’re convicted of a sex crime. Even if you remain eligible for student loans, your school and private organizations may no longer award you scholarships or grants.

3. Jail Disrupts Your Education

Jail time would pull you out of school. It’s vital to fight charges or do your best to avoid incarceration. If you’re required to complete a jail sentence, you may have to take a leave of absence in the middle of a semester or drop out.

4. You May Be Expelled

Depending on the crime and where and when it took place, it can impact your ability to remain in school. Colleges and universities have a code of conduct.

If they find you broke the rules, they can expel you, even if you’re acquitted, or the charges are dropped. Schools don’t have to meet the same high standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” as a criminal judge or jury.

5. It Could Stain Your Reputation

If you’re like most college students, you don’t think much about your academic or professional standing. However, it matters. A criminal charge can make it challenging to take advantage of opportunities like becoming a teaching assistant or finding an internship.

6. It Could Limit Your Chances of Going to Grad School

A conviction could dash your hopes of going into a graduate program right after college. Depending on your overall criminal and academic record, graduate schools may not admit you.

7. It Could Prevent Career Opportunities

A criminal record will show up on background checks, and you may have to explicitly say you’ve been convicted of a crime on job applications. It makes it a whole lot harder to get internships or find a job after graduation.

It also could impact your ability to get a professional license. A conviction might make you ineligible, or you may have to jump through hoops to prove you deserve to work in a particular profession.

Common Charges Against College Students

We tend to see 18-year-old to 22-year-old students have similar kinds of charges. We routinely work with students dealing with:

Alcohol Offenses:

We’ve defended students facing charges for drinking underage, providing alcohol to minors, urinating in public, or disordering conduct.

Drunk Driving (OVI)

We’ve helped students 21 or older charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Underage OVI

A student under 21-years-old can be charged with a DUI for having a BAC of .02% or higher or drugs in their system.


Sometimes, students don’t know how to control their emotions and end up in a physical altercation. We’re here to help when that leads to simple assault, aggravated assault, or felony assault.

Fake IDs

Students often don’t realize fake IDs or using an older friend’s license to obtain alcohol or entry to a bar can lead to serious charges.


We’ve seen students charged with petty theft, shoplifting, and in some cases, fraud.

Sex Crimes

We’ve defended students accused of rape, sexual battery, and gross sexual imposition.

There’s Hope if You Have a Conviction

If you’re convicted of a crime during college, you may be able to have the record sealed or expunged in the future. Ohio law lets people expunge many misdemeanor and felony convictions after a time.

For a misdemeanor, you usually must wait a year. For felonies, you have to wait between three and five years.

There are several eligibility requirements, though, so it’s best to talk with a lawyer about this possibility. Don’t assume you can make any criminal record go away.

We Represent Cincinnati College Students

College is a formative experience. But it isn’t always a happy or easy time. When you’re young and surrounded by friends, it’s easy to make careless decisions, like drinking at a party or getting into a fight. When those decisions lead to a legal matter, it’s time to call a lawyer.

Our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates has worked with students enrolled at:

  • University of Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati State College
  • Xavier University
  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • Art Academy of Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati Christian University

If you go to college elsewhere but get into trouble in Cincinnati, we’re here to help. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your college or university won’t care. Legal trouble in one city or state can impact you in another.

Call a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At Luftman, Heck, and Associates, we thoroughly investigate and review the facts of your case.

We’ll be candid about your situation and whether you have a good chance of getting the charges dropped, using a plea deal to avoid jail time, or winning an acquittal at trial.

We always want to obtain the best possible outcome for you and get you back into class as soon as possible.

If you’re ready to talk with us about fighting criminal charges, contact us online or call (513) 338-1890. We offer free consultations.

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Bradley Groene made an exceptionally difficult situation much easier to handle. He kept me informed of everything that was going to happen and got results for my case far better than I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend him for anyone who finds themselves in legal troubles.