Removing a College Student’s Criminal Record
College students are having difficulties landing jobs after college after disclosure of juvenile arrest records. Because of limited public education, it is unfortunate that many parents do not consider an arrest for juvenile delinquency to be a serious affair, as they are not informed of the devastating consequences of pleading out to a crime in the Juvenile Justice System. As the Orlando Sentinel recently reports, the United States Department of Justice just released a study indicating that college students who have been arrested for minor crimes face hurdles obtaining jobs in a shaky economy. The Sentinel article quotes senior advisor Amy Solomon of the Justice Department (and author of the report) stating that a criminal record “will keep many people from obtaining employment, even if they have paid their dues, are qualified for the job and are unlikely to re-offend.” Ms. Solomon disclosed in her DOJ report that she found based upon research that “the majority of employers indicate that they would ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ not be willing to hire an applicant with a criminal record.”
Often times, a college student mistakenly believes that their juvenile record will not impact their career because it is hidden from public view. The general public is not even aware that in Florida, many of these juvenile records remain on a person’s record until they reach the age of 25 and in some cases, will remain permanently. For those college students seeking a career in the Military, Federal Government, teaching field, and law among other fields will have to address and deal with the juvenile charges because they will come up on most background checks.
In addition to juvenile records negatively impacting job chances, a college student arrested for a crime while in school could face fines, suspension or even expulsion from their current college or University from the Office of Student Conduct. Most colleges have a similar office where students, teachers and University staff will hold hearings for college kids arrested for offenses and levy fines and in some cases will recommend expulsion.
Researchers in law enforcement report a connection between college students who are arrested on campus and their abilities to find jobs after they graduate. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report in 2011 showed that the police departments of UCF, FIU, FSU and UF arrested 2,194 people for minor crimes on campus.
One 20 year old UCF student was arrested for drinking on campus, which is a minor infraction, but UCF police Chief Richard Beary offered some valuable advice. He stated that even though this was a misdemeanor, with the job market and economy the way it is now, even a small infraction could keep these students from getting the job they want to advance their career.
UCF in Orlando, which numbers over 58,000 students, reported 513 people were arrested on their campus in 2011. This included students who were attending classes and those people who were visiting for sports games, concerts and social events. Visitors who were arrested on campus were most often charged with theft and property crimes while students were charged with drinking offenses.
Students suffer both long-term and short-term consequences. After an arrest, the student goes before the Office of Student Conduct, which consists of faculty, staff and students that evaluates the violators with sanctions that can range to expulsion and this is a major interference in their progress.
Discuss Options For Sealing or Expungement With An Attorney
If you or your child is in college and has a juvenile record or an arrest while in college it would be advisable to discuss options regarding sealing or expungement of juvenile records and representation for any arrest while in college with a Florida criminal lawyer.