It’s 3 A.M. and your phone rings. Don’t panic, John Jr. is all right, but he had a few too many while hitting the bars near his college campus. One thing led to another and now he’s in police custody.
In a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article about college students and arrests, former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan said to the parents of University of Georgia students:
“I tell them your kid has a good chance of getting his mug shot taken.”
Your first thought may be an angry one when you get that call, but once you get past the anger, here are some steps to take:
Handle the legal issues. First thing, take care of bail. Misdemeanors should have relatively low bail amounts and allow your child to be released in a matter of hours. Once your child is out of jail, call a lawyer. You may avoid more severe penalties by engaging an attorney soon as possible. Legal advice can help you and your child understand what kind of long-term impact the arrest can have, and what you can do now to help lessen the impact.
Understand additional university sanctions. Because your child is a student at a university, additional sanctions may come into play. Some universities impose sanctions beyond state or federal laws and regulations. These sanctions can range from enrollment in a drug and alcohol awareness course for first offenders of misdemeanors to expulsion from the institution for major offenses. Your child has rights, and you should understand what they are.
Prevent arrest before it happens. We know you’ve done your best to raise your children right, but it can be helpful to make sure they know their rights and what laws apply in specific situations. Fake IDs, possessing alcohol, and driving after drinking as little as one beer can present tough legal situations for your child. College can be crazy and things can get out of hand.
Do you have a question about underage drinking laws? Call us at 770-528-0150.