For better or worse, alcohol has become an intrinsic part of most colleges cultures. Alcohol is common at college parties and seems to be omnipresent in certain aspects of college life, such as sorority and fraternity gatherings. Unfortunately, the prevalence of alcohol and the pressure to imbibe can result in serious consequences for some students.

College students under the age of 21 who get caught drinking or get arrested while impaired could face charges related to being a minor in possession of alcohol. Those charges can haunt someone for many years. It can affect your professional life, including your ability to get a job in your field of study.

Students of any age who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking could find themselves facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges. For California college students, DUI allegations can involve substantial penalties at criminal and educational levels.

Most colleges have zero tolerance policies for students with criminal convictions

When you agreed to attend a college, you agreed to comply with their code of conduct and standards. Students who allegedly violate behavioral standards at a college can face administrative penalties. Disciplinary hearings, suspensions and even expulsion from college are all possible for students who get into trouble while enrolled.

Any college student convicted of a serious offense, such as driving under the influence, could wind up losing either their student status or financial aid. Even if the college does not hold a disciplinary hearing related to the conviction and a student is allowed to remain in classes, they may find themselves cut off from honor society programs and scholarship programs.

Given that a large number of students depend on private financial aid for college, the loss of a scholarship could mean the difference between continuing your education and ending it without a degree. In other words, you need to protect your scholarship and educational status by avoiding a criminal conviction and the issues that come with it.

Avoiding a DUI conviction in college can protect your future

Many young people facing their first criminal charge related to drinking may want to plead guilty. They may imagine that this will make things easier for them. Going to court can seem scary and expensive, and a guilty plea may seem like an easy way to resolve the issue.

In reality, any guilty plea or conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life. Your best option to mitigate the consequences of the situation involves working with an attorney to avoid conviction in the first place. There are many potential defense strategies available to those facing DUI charges, especially if it is a first offense.

The sooner you start taking a proactive approach to your pending alcohol-related charges, the better your potential chances of minimizing the consequences you face.

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