Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Understanding the Repercussions of Student Crime Convictions

In February 2022, a law enforcement officer responded to a call concerning a firearm that was found at South Boston’s Excel High School. On arrival, law enforcement officers interacted with school workers who stated they found the firearm in a backpack belonging to a student during a security check. Law enforcement safely recovered the firearm and found the student after he escaped the school and then turned himself in. The student was placed under arrest and subsequently charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.  

High school students who have been charged with criminal charges not only face the substantial consequences associated with criminal convictions, they also must deal with the fact that a criminal conviction can substantially disrupt a student’s life at school and have long-term repercussions.

Criminal Conviction Can Have Short (and Long) Term Implications 

Each school has various policies in place that dictate how to handle a student who is accused of a criminal offense. Many of these policies involve at least some type of disciplinary action. The degree of the discipline varies based on the nature of a criminal offense. Minor violations can lead to a suspension or probate, while more serious criminal offenses can result in a student’s expulsion from school.

Criminal convictions often make it difficult for students to pursue college programs and can even render students unable to receive financial aid or scholarships. Additionally, criminal convictions sometimes leave students unable to participate in certain housing options. 

The Legal Implications of Criminal Convictions

Besides whatever measures are implemented by the school, students will also have to face any penalties enforced by the court. Students who are below the age of 18 will have their cases handled in the juvenile court, and their records will be sealed after they turn 21. Students who are 18 or older are recognized as adults and have their cases heard by a criminal court.

Criminal Convictions Can Make College More Difficult 

A large number of private and public colleges require applicants to provide information about their criminal history while completing applications. Sharing a criminal conviction can lead to additional reporting. A student might even be required to pay to have a background check performed. 

Beginning in 1998, Congress prohibits applicants who have a history of drug-related convictions from receiving financial aid. This restriction in 2007 was limited to offenses that occurred at the time the student was receiving financial aid. Consequently, criminal convictions can lead to substantial obstacles in pursuing higher education. 

Criminal Convictions Can Create Employment Obstacles

Even if a person is young at the time they receive a criminal conviction, a criminal history can make it much more difficult to pursue employment options. Most company policies require background checks be performed on workers. If a criminal conviction is found for a candidate, the individual will likely not receive a job offer. Certain job fields including those that require work with children place particular emphasis on criminal convictions.

Contact a Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one is charged with a firearm-related offense in Massachusetts, you could end up facing serious repercussions. One of the best ways to proceed in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of a compassionate criminal defense attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.