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Detroit Legal Blog

College Student Convicted of Crime

Jan 27, 2016, by Maurice Davis in College Crime, Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes, Felony, Firearms Charges, Legal Blog, Marijuana, OWI, Sex Crimes, Student Crimes, Theft

College is a time for learning, personal growth, and making friends. But for some, it can end up being a difficult or even tragic time. Despite our culture’s idealistic view of the college experience, crime is a reality on campuses across the country, and Michigan is no exception. From assault to drunk driving, from theft to drug dealing, many college students end up on the wrong side of the law after making bad decisions.

A mistake you make as a young adult shouldn’t ruin the rest of your life. For this reason, you should retain the services of a skilled and experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney if you’re a college student who has been charged with a crime. At Davis Law Group, a knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense lawyer will defend your rights and help you fight your criminal charges so you can stay in school.

An Arrest—Even if You Don’t Get Charged—Could Get You Kicked Out

Each college has a student handbook outlining policies, regulations, and a code of conduct. Generally, these rules provide academic probation or suspension for students who commit certain criminal acts, such as assault, theft, drug possession, or drunk driving. What can be confusing is that the college disciplinary process is independent of any criminal proceedings brought against you by the state.

For example, if you get arrested for assault, your university will almost certainly be informed and the Dean of Student Affairs will likely open proceedings against you. If the state prosecutor decides to not pursue criminal charges, you may still have to justify your actions during a disciplinary hearing at your university, according to its own rules. You may end up getting suspended or put on probation merely for getting arrested.

A Conviction for Drug Use or Sexual Assault Can Affect Your Student Aid

To apply for student aid, such as grants, loans, or work-study, you need to complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each academic year during which you wish to receive the aid. The FAFSA application requires you to admit whether you received any drug convictions during the period in which you were receiving aid. If the answer is yes, you will need to fill out a worksheet that will help you determine if you are still eligible for financial aid.

In case you are no longer eligible, you may be able to regain your eligibility for federal student aid by completing an approved drug rehabilitation program or by successfully passing two random drug tests administered by an approved facility. Sometimes, students lose their eligibility after the aid has been issued. This means that they will have to refund the aid they received before they can become eligible again.

Finally, if you’ve been convicted of a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense, and were subject to involuntary civil commitment after your jail time, you will not be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

Your Criminal History Could Affect Your College Application

Many colleges started to collect information regarding applicants’ criminal history when questions about criminal convictions were added to the Common Application in 2006. In some cases, applicants who answer yes to the criminal conviction question will be asked to provide a copy of their official rap sheet, which may unfortunately contain juvenile offenses that were supposed to be sealed by the court.

When the admissions department looks at your criminal records, there’s no telling how they may interpret them. What is certain is that they are not legal authorities, and that they may not be able to understand the relative gravity of the crimes of which you were convicted. They may also make a decision based on portions of your criminal history that were sealed—meaning they were never supposed to be made public.

How a Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Owing to the consequences of having a criminal conviction as a college student or applicant, it’s important to seek quality legal representation if you’re a young adult who has been charged with a crime. Not only can a good lawyer help you fight the charges, he or she may be able to help you clean up your record before applying to school. For more information on how we can help, call Michigan criminal defense lawyer Maurice Davis with Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 for a free and confidential consultation.