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Focus: teen convictions and decreased educational opportunities

The focus of our immediately preceding blog post (please see our entry dated December 10, 2014) was on youthful offenders and their often compelling need to secure knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation following an arrest on a criminal charge.

We stated in the post that, “Few people would argue that convictions on [relatively minor charges] should result in a permanent stigma that bars a young person from … taking advantage of future opportunities.”

We believe that an article on our website that focuses upon minors’ criminal charges is a good tandem post to be considered in conjunction with last week’s entry, and we revisit some of its central points here.

The most fundamental observation of that post stresses how an adolescent’s criminal charge can dampen future educational prospects in both obvious and more subtle ways.

One recent study that tracked students who were arrested on criminal charges while in high school noted that their dropout rate from school far exceeded that of never-arrested students. Researchers additionally pointed out that many arrested students who were not expelled failed to receive the amount of attention and help from teachers that was provided students deemed more promising.

Another study revealed some troubling information regarding college admission determinations, including these findings:

  • Clear majority of surveyed colleges noting that they considered criminal history of an applicant
  • Sizable minority of colleges stating they conducted background checks on would-be students

It is further noted that certain types of college financial aid can be jeopardized by criminal convictions on select drug-related and sexual charges.

The above information underscores the importance for any high school or college student to seek strong legal representation geared toward maximally safeguarding legal rights and mitigating the consequences of a criminal charge to the fullest extent possible.

Future prospects might literally depend upon it.

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