Your Student got in trouble, now what?
Is your student having trouble or in trouble? Are they having problems with a roommate, an apartment lease, underage drinking, academic troubles including plagiarism, parking tickets and so on? You send your student off to college with the best of intentions. You’ve had the discussion about budgets, walking alone at night, binge drinking, hazing, and drugs. You’ve even discussed being a good roommate and following the University’s code of conduct. But, there are situations that do come up no matter how responsible and mature your student is.
The first thing you should do is breathe and remain calm because, chances are, your student is freaking out. Remember, they are still navigating adulthood. At the University of Florida, there is an on-campus service that offers a full range of legal services, such as consultation, assistance with traffic citations and criminal traffic charges, and even representation in court. If you or your child has a dispute with their landlord or leasing agency, UF’s Student Legal Services can also assist you.
For example, there have been students who are pulled over and ticketed for not having their school address on their license. That will not hold up in court as non-resident college students attending college in Florida may drive in Florida without having a Florida driver license if they have a valid license from another state or country. For resident college students, a Florida Statute exempts students while at school in Florida so they are allowed to keep their home address.
Not surprisingly, the Gainesville and UF police departments take underage drinking very seriously and can be seen handing out MIPs (Minor in Possession) on and off-campus. This common misdemeanor can be handled by Student Legal Services and expunged from your student’s record simply by paying the cost of the fine (~$200) and letting them handle the rest. To be eligible for SLS services, students must have at least 6 semester hours or be enrolled in their remaining courses to graduate and must have paid the activity and service Fee in their tuition.
HaveUHeard that your student can get legal advice from real, licensed attorneys at Student Legal Services, staffed by four licensed attorneys who are available to offer students assistance in understanding and solving their legal problems? All they need to do is make an appointment through an online application (Online Application) which they will need to log onto myufl.edu to access. Make sure they bring their Gator1 and relevant paperwork, otherwise they could face a $10 fine.
As for student code and conduct violations, UF utilizes the Dean of Students Office to deal with these issues. Violations include plagiarism, cheating, university housing code violations, Greek Conduct violations, among others. Each violation is dependent on the overseeing committee’s discretion and the degree of the violation.
If they do get in trouble and you need to contact someone at the University, here is a list of important contacts to have on hand: Who You Going to Call.