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ARRESTED? UNH STUDENT? Read this...!!!

Over 40 UNH students got arrested during the first week of school and about the same during the second week. If you are one of them you should know it may not seem like a big deal, but it can be now and definitely later.

Most young people think they’ll just pay a fine-why try to fight it? Often the cop that made the arrest tells the person it’s no big deal. But what the police don’t know and most people who get arrested don’t know are what I call the collateral consequences.

And for UNH students here they are:

  1. UNH will count any arrest as a strike, so this has disciplinary consequences.

  2. UNH will make a deduction of $500 for the first arrest from Dean’s, Directors, Presidential, Tyco and Hamel scholarships. (If you get a second conviction, they will take it away entirely.)

  3. UNH doesn’t let you study abroad for one year from the date of any bad behavior.

  4. The arrest record and all the other stuff that just affects you…read on.


After the arrest logs come out UNH uses them to notify your Dean’s office. Anyone on there will be called in to a group meeting with the Dean and warned that this offense will count as a first strike. If you get three strikes over 4 years while a student, you can be asked to withdraw with 48 hours’ notice. I have seen this third strike suspension play out for many of my clients. All too often they regret not having fought their first or second strike. So, even though this arrest may seem petty, stupid or just not worth fighting think about how you’ll feel if it ends up being the reason you get suspended in your senior year. I routinely represent students for things they thought they had no chance at fighting and turns out we can!


A first arrest and the scholarships listed above are affected. Most students can take the $500 hit the first time, but again the tragedy is when or if something like this happens again and then you lose the scholarship entirely. So, this minor infraction that seems like nothing can turn into a financial nightmare. Fight it now, because you can’t go back and fight it later.


If you are a freshman and the plan is to study abroad junior year it may not be a problem. The study abroad office requires one year of good behavior prior to the date you leave to study abroad in order to approve the application.


For each person the impact can be different; are you an international student with a visa? Do you have to drive for your summer job? (Most violations end up on your driving record). DO you work for or plan to work for a company that has contracts with the federal government? Are you entering a profession that is licensed? Nursing? Teacher? There can be all sorts of impacts from an arrest, however, the primary issue is definitely the record. Even if the offense is technically not a criminal infraction, there is still an arrest record and a public record at the courthouse. Most alcohol infractions are violations (Unlawful Possession of Alcohol, Underage Intoxicated, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol) however, they can still create a record that looks just like a criminal offense. An average background check through a private company can show any “arrests” or public records at the courthouse. As a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience representing college students, I can tell you unequivocally that managing the record by someone like me who knows what they are doing is the most proactive thing you can do after an arrest. I know how background checks work; I know where all the records are kept and I diligently try to get my clients a result that keeps things off the records as much as possible.

If you are arrested for DWI, License Prohibitions or any other misdemeanor criminal offense you absolutely should get representation. Why spend all this money on a college degree only to graduate with a criminal record?

My office is right on Madbury across from the frats and downtown. Walking distance from campus. Stop in, email me or call or text 603-312-2465. I can help.

Joanne M. Stella, Esq.-Durham Criminal Law

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