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Why the “but all college kids do it” excuse won’t work

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP November 1, 2018

You worked hard throughout your parenting to create a place of trust and understanding. You wanted your child to be able to turn to you if they were in trouble. And then, one day, they do.

When they call you from college to tell you that they were charged with a minor in possession (MIP) of marijuana, your emotions are all over the place. You’re grateful they turned to you. You’re not thrilled that they got in trouble. But you’re also aware that they are in college, and it’s essentially a rite of passage. It can’t really be that big of a deal, can it?

Actually, it can be a big deal

While you might be expecting a relative slap on the wrist, the consequences for MIP can vary. Some of those penalties could carry with them the potential to derail the future you envisioned for your child. Suspension and expulsion aren’t outside of the realm of possibility when the Office of Student Conduct gets involved.

A criminal record can have serious repercussions for your child. Applying for jobs can be much more difficult when a background check finds any criminal history at all. Oftentimes, that can be enough for an employer to move that application into the “no” pile without the chance to offer the “but it was just a stupid college mistake” explanation.

Protect their future

Taking the charges seriously is the first step in protecting your child’s future. You may just want to hurry up and make everything go away by taking the first thing offered by the city’s lawyer, but that may not be in anyone’s best interest. Make sure you:

  • Take the time to understand your options
  • Work with the right attorney
  • Look at the big picture and what impacts this could have down the road

One small mistake shouldn’t result in big consequences.