College and high school students facing criminal charges are at special risk of suffering negative collateral consequences which could affect their eligibility to remain at their school as well their future educational, career and professional goals. Our firm frequently represents college and high school students from the central Florida area including students attending Rollins College, University of Central Florida, as well as local high schools and middle schools in both adult criminal court as well as in juvenile court.
From our extensive experience over the years, we are keenly aware of the many negative collateral consequences other than solely the potential criminal penalties, that students should seek to avoid as a result of criminal and juvenile arrests, convictions, withholds of adjudication of guilt, and even participation in pre-trial diversion or deferred prosecution programs. We are also aware of the extreme stress caused to the families, especially the mothers and fathers of students in these situations. When we meet with the students and their parents, we discuss not only the extreme importance of a prompt and successful resolution of the criminal charges, but also strategies to avoid negative collateral consequences that result from an arrest. These consequences include opportunity for professional licensure in the future (i.e., becoming a lawyer, dentist, teacher, certified public accountant, and entrance into the military). We are aware that criminal penalties affect not only the person involved, but also their families.