A college student convicted of a crime may face more than victim restitution, steep fines, and even incarceration. They may find that their education is at risk as well.
These students can lose scholarships, internships, or potential job offers and put them farther back from achieving the goals they want for themselves.
Criminal penalties for college students
Penalties for crimes committed in Pennsylvania typically depend on the crime’s category or “grade.” The three categories for crimes in this state are summary offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies.
The misdemeanor category is divided into three subcategories- third-degree, second-degree, and first-degree misdemeanors, which are the most serious and result in harsher penalties. Likewise, felonies are split into similar subgroups, with the first-degree felony carrying the most significant repercussions as well.
Generally, the maximum penalties for these categories include the following:
- Summary Offenses: $300 fine and a possible 90 days sentence
- Third-Degree Misdemeanors: $2,000 fine and a possible one-year sentence
- Second-Degree Misdemeanors: $5,000 fine and a possible two-year sentence
- First-Degree Misdemeanors: $10,000 fine and a possible sentence of five years
- Third-Degree Felonies: $15,000 fine and possible seven years sentence
- Second- Degree Felonies: $25,000 fine and a possible 10-year sentence
- First- Degree Felonies: $25,000 fine and a possible 20-year sentence
It is critical to understand that, depending on the crime, there are even harsher penalties that may be imposed. Plus, the court can also look to include additional punishments such as counseling, community service, or driver’s license suspension.
Charged With a Crime in College? What’s Next?
No matter how “minor” your charges seem, the penalties upon conviction can seriously affect your academic, professional, and social prospects. Unfortunately, the justice system isn’t known for being simple or user-friendly. This is where speaking with an experienced college criminal defense attorney can be invaluable