How good kids can get arrested on spring break

Your child's a good kid. Unfortunately, you can't say the same thing about some of their friends. Maybe you trust their friends, but they're talking about driving to Fort Lauderdale for spring break. Who knows what kind of people they'll run in to? You've seen those spring break movies. Maybe you lived a few of them yourself back in the day.

So, how do you keep your teen or college student from ending up in jail and with a criminal record that could impact their scholarship prospects, their ability to get into (or stay in) the college of their choice and even limit their career possibilities?

You've talked to them about drinking and driving but have the talk again. Remind them that being drunk or impaired by drugs -- even if they aren't behind the wheel -- can get them arrested if they're underage and/or in public. Possession of drugs -- even prescription drugs that aren't theirs -- can get them arrested.

Alcohol and drugs can also cause young people (and older ones) to do things they wouldn't normally do. That brings us to some other things that can get high school and college students arrested on spring break.

Stealing

Store owners are extra vigilant in areas where spring breakers abound. Whether it's snatching a bottle of beer from a gas station mini-mart or shoplifting a bottle of suntan lotion from the local drugstore, it's stealing and if you child does it (or is even standing near someone else who does), they could find themselves in the back of a police car headed to jail.

Street racing

It can be hard for some people to resist a challenge -- even from someone they don't know. However, street racing is illegal (not to mention extremely dangerous).

Trespassing/stalking

If spring break includes a concert or music festival, make sure your child knows the limits. It might be tempting to try to sneak on to a band's bus or backstage, but it's also trespassing. It could be considered stalking if they've seen you at more than one venue.

If your child is arrested, it's essential to seek experienced legal guidance. Even if your child was arrested for something you consider trivial or if they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could have long-term repercussions.

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