You’re in college, living your best life, taking advantage of your independence. Until, it’s not so fun anymore because you get arrested. Once you’ve gone through the arrest process and are released or bailed out, you probably have lots of questions about how this will affect the rest of your life.

Your charges

The severity of the consequences you will face are going to directly correlate with your charges, not only with the law but also with your university. Many colleges work in tandem with local police departments to find out if students are in trouble, so it’s likely that they will know. It’s possible that you will face punishment from both criminal charges and your university’s discipline.

Your college

Your university probably has a code of conduct that it holds students to, which applies both on and off campus. Some even have a covenant that students sign before enrolling, detailing rules for conduct. These policies often cover similar actions as the law, meaning that if you are arrested, you are likely at risk for punishment from your school.

Typically, you will have to appear before a board. They will be in charge of determining the penalties for your actions. You may face reprimand, probation, suspension or even expulsion. Since the standard for proof is lower when dealing with colleges than it is in the legal system, you could actually be cleared of your criminal charges but still be punished by your school.

While some colleges don’t allow lawyers to be present at the hearing, you may be able to have a non-lawyer advocate with you. Talk with an attorney to understand how to advocate for your education and appeal university decisions if necessary. Prepare to fight for your education and place at school because expulsion could have a huge affect on your future career.