Around the country annual end of school celebrations are about to commence with thousands of teenagers expected to take part in 'schoolies' events. While understandable that school leavers want to party as a way of revelling in their success of overcoming the monotony of the 12 or 13 years of pre-tertiary education, it is important that participants do so responsibly.

As a parent this can be a stressful period as their children will be exposed to risky, unsupervised, alcohol fuelled situations. Excessive drinking and 'schoolies' seem to go hand in hand so, it is important that parents/caregivers have a conversation in relation to the dangers associated with reckless behaviour that may be undertaken while at 'schoolies' events.

There is an expectation that 'schoolies' is a time to experiment and explore boundaries as school leavers are 'free' to do as they please without parental supervision. Unfortunately many school leavers will find themselves in situations where criminal charges are laid resulting from disorderly drunken behaviour, nudity, assault, driving under the influence or drug related offences, just to name a few. Being convicted of a criminal offence can have lasting impacts on your future and while sometimes incidents happen, you can mitigate the risks by being aware of your surroundings and staying 'in control'.

If your child or anyone they know are arrested it is important to co-operate with the Police. Police have wide discretionary powers when it comes to making arrests or issuing fines so it is in your interest to always be polite and respectful towards Police officers. Once an officer has 'reasonable suspicion' that a crime is about to be committed or has been committed you are liable to be arrested. Even if you believe you have not done anything wrong it is always best to comply with Police demands in order to avoid associated charges such as resisting arrest or assaulting Police.

We understand that life happens and sometimes you will find yourself in situations that are beyond your control. If you or someone you know finds themselves on the wrong side of the law, we have a criminal team available 24/7 who you can call to discuss things before issuing any statements to Police.

Our criminal team is guided by a former senior Police prosecutor who knows the potentially devastating consequences that can result from failing to seek legal representation. With his experience and knowledge we can assist you and provide the support you need every step of the way.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.