As a college student, you are probably focused on building your independence. You want to be able to help yourself without relying on your parents. You want to show your parents that they have done an excellent job raising their child and that you can be successful on your own. At the same time, you are going to have a few bumps along the way. You may get a ticket. You might even have a more significant legal issue that you have to tackle. What should you do?
Dealing with a Traffic Ticket
If you have a car on campus, you may end up getting a speeding ticket. Or, you may end up rolling through a stop sign at some point. If you get pulled over by a police officer, understand that you do not have to pay the ticket right away. Even though you are looking at the fine and are probably frustrated, there are more significant issues and play. If you simply pay the ticket, your car insurance is going to go up significantly. This financial cost will pale in comparison to a ticket.
Furthermore, if your parents still pay for your car insurance, they will not be happy either. Therefore, you should reach out to a lawyer and see if you can get the traffic ticket reduced to a non-moving violation. That way, you can avoid having your insurance increase.
What About a Drinking Ticket?
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. That being said, students are going to drink from time to time. If you get a drinking ticket, you are probably nervous. You might not know what to do next. You might be worried that your academic future may be in jeopardy. Even though you need to be more careful, you do have options available. Again, it is a good idea to reach out to a lawyer. Remember that you are far from the first college student to end up with a drinking ticket. Therefore, an attorney will help you navigate the legal waters. You might be able to get the drinking ticket ripped up if you simply attend a class on the dangers of excessive drinking. That way, you can protect your future. Everyone makes mistakes.
What if I Get Arrested?
Finally, what happens if you get arrested? There’s no way to get around it. It is not an enjoyable experience to get charged, ride in the back of a police car, and spend time sitting in a jail cell. In this situation, the first thing you need to do is call your parents. Of course, you probably do not want to do this. At the same time, you will have a hard time navigating these tricky legal waters by yourself. Therefore, place a phone call to your parents and make sure they can get you a good lawyer. Even if you are innocent you need your rights protected as innocent people are often victimized by the justice system. Depending on the nature of the charge, you are going to have options at your disposal. You need to be aware of them.
Navigating the Justice System
You need a lawyer to review the evidence against you. Then, the lawyer will advise you on the best course of action. In some cases, you might be able to have the charges dropped altogether. Or you may be able to negotiate a plea agreement for a lesser offense. Remember that you do not have to go through this process alone.