On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, September 27, 2018.
Just imagine the sinking feeling and even sheer anxiety you would experience as a Missouri parent upon seeing your child tick the “yes” box indicating a criminal history on a college application form.
You would hope for the best, but fear for the worst, wouldn’t you? Clearly, many hopeful applicants are routinely turned down by school officials who are negatively influenced by some past transgression.
That can be flatly tragic for an active and hopeful young person buoyed by an exciting next-step chance in life. And it can be especially dismaying when an adverse entry applies to past behavior that didn’t cause any real harm and reflected bad judgment rather than a purposeful attempt to break the law.
That is an oft-repeated reality with juveniles, whose immaturity can sometimes get them into real trouble and yield long-term consequences that cut off future opportunities.
The nonprofit group that administers the widely used Common Application used by many hundreds of American colleges and universities to vet potential candidates seemingly understands that. The organization recently announced that it will not ask about criminal arrests or convictions in its materials starting next year.
That policy change will likely be roundly endorsed by legions of commentators, including criminal defense attorneys who weigh in with practiced views borne of deep experience advocating on behalf of juvenile offenders.
We certainly approve of it at the St. Louis defense law firm of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry. We note on our website that, “A big part of growing up is about trial and error and learning from those experiences.” In many instances, minors who commit a criminal act are far better served by nonpenal outcomes than they are by an arrest and a criminal conviction.
Questions or concerns about juvenile involvement with the law can be candidly and confidentially discussed with a proven legal team that routinely represents young people facing criminal law challenges.