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Students: Don’t make these spring break mistakes

College students across Pennsylvania are on spring break now or their break is just around the corner. This weeklong vacation gives students the opportunity to relax and regroup before the final push of the academic year.

However, instead of being fun and relaxing, spring break could prove to be extremely stressful and scary if a student winds up with a criminal charge. As such, we encourage students and their parents to avoid the following legal missteps when they are on vacation.

Mistake #1: Thinking what happens on spring break, stays on spring break

Being in a new state or country can make people forget their worries. However, vacation doesn't happen in a vacuum. When a vacation ends, any criminal accusation, charge or record can follow a student home and affect their academic, legal and social circumstances.

Mistake #2: Failing to take certain precautions

When inhibitions are down and people are drinking or using drugs, people can make some unwise and dangerous decisions. Protect yourself by staying with friends and keeping your phone on. If you engage in sexual activity, get consent. Stay away from situations that could put you in danger or at risk of being arrested.

Mistake #3: Assuming law enforcement is on break, too

Police often expect an influx of students during spring break, especially in highly popular destinations. And while some of them may look the other way when it comes to minor infractions, it is safe to assume that most law enforcement agencies will be on high alert. Many cities and states even ramp up efforts to arrest people for certain serious offenses like DUI, drug possession and sexual assault.

Students should avoid these – and similar -- mistakes if they want to ensure their lives will not be damaged by a regrettable decision.

However, if you do make a mistake and wind up arrested for a criminal offense, whether you are in Pennsylvania or not, it is crucial to consult an attorney to assess your options and understand your rights. With legal guidance, you can address the charges and work to minimize the impact they have on your future.

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