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College students: Don't make these mistakes on spring break

College students look forward to spring break all year. It is a time to unwind from the stress and demands of school and it gives people the rest they need to make it through the end of the school year.

That being said, it is also a time when destinations are flooded with students who might be unfamiliar with the area and drinking, using drugs and engaging in sexual activity. This can be a recipe for disaster and many students wind up arrested and facing criminal charges during spring break. If you are a student, then you should avoid the following mistakes on spring break, whether you stay here in Virginia or head elsewhere.

  1. Don't assume the laws are the same everywhere. Laws vary between countries and between states. In other words, activities that might be legal here may not be legal abroad, and penalties for certain offenses could be much harsher.
  2. Don't think that rules don't apply when you are on vacation. Yes, it is important to relax and have fun on spring break, but that doesn't mean that police will be any less interested in arresting people for breaking the law. In fact, police actually ramp up enforcement efforts in areas that are particularly popular among college students.
  3. Don't try to run from a mistake. If you are arrested and/or charged with a criminal offense, it is important that you deal with it even if it occurred outside of your home state. Failure to do so could lead to a warrant for your arrest.
  4. Don't forget that certain offenses are more common during spring break. This can include underage drinking, drug possession, sexual assault and property crimes. These can all result in serious criminal charges, so it is wise to recognize them and avoid them.

Spring break mistakes can affect students long after the vacation ends. In some cases, criminal charges result in convictions that jeopardize a young person's academic, social and professional future. As such, we urge students to use caution while on vacation.

If you do get arrested or charged with a crime, do not assume all hope is lost. You can consult an attorney to better understand your legal options and how you can defend yourself.

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

criminal defense & Social security disability law

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