For college and university students, an arrest on a criminal charge can lead to severe complications. Not only must they potentially face a criminal record and related consequences, but they also may face disciplinary proceedings set forth by their schools. As the outcome of both proceedings can be highly damaging to your future, you may wish to get the advice of a Deerfield Beach student defense lawyer.
Having one of our criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert assist you throughout both processes can be highly advantageous. You may be able to effectively defend yourself against both criminal charges and allegations of conduct code violations when you have the guidance of legal counsel.
What Criminal Offenses are College Students Often Charged With?
Young adults away at college for the first time often find themselves engaging in new activities and experiences that do not always end well. Experimentation with drinking alcohol, using drugs, and the party scene present at many colleges can lead to unexpected legal trouble. DUI charges, underage possession of alcohol, public consumption of alcohol, and using fake IDs to attempt to purchase alcohol could lead to unwanted consequences, including fines, jail time, community service hours, and a permanent criminal record.
Driving or traffic-related offenses also can lead to the loss of driving privileges, which is a hardship for students who are trying to get to class and work. Drug offenses also are common among college students, often relating to marijuana, prescription drugs, and controlled substances. Alcohol and drug use also may indirectly lead to other criminal charges, such as resisting arrest, assault and battery, and sexual assault.
The impact of a criminal record can be devastating for a college student. Students may lose out on essential internships and jobs as a result of their criminal background, or they may disqualify themselves from some careers altogether. A Deerfield Beach student defense lawyer can be instrumental in devising the most effective strategy for avoiding a criminal record.
Student Disciplinary Proceedings
Even if students are successful in avoiding a criminal conviction, win a dismissal, or participate in a pre-trial intervention program, they may face additional consequences at their schools or universities. In some cases, the punishment that they receive from their schools can be greater than the punishment that they receive from the criminal justice system. The results of college conduct code proceedings can have an immediate impact on the lives of college students and ultimately derail their educational plans.
Students will find that facing disciplinary charges at their colleges or universities are much different than facing criminal charges. In the courtroom, they enjoy a presumption of innocence and the right to confront their accusers, among other constitutional rights. In a university conference room, however, those rights do not exist.
Although student disciplinary policies vary widely from one school to another, whether an arrest leads to a criminal conviction is mostly irrelevant. Schools do not require proof that a crime happened beyond a reasonable doubt; instead, schools require only evidence that it is more likely than not that a rules violation occurred. Students may be able to better defend themselves against the allegations with the help of a student defense attorney in Deerfield Beach.
What are the Potential Consequences of College Conduct Proceedings?
If a university official or administrator finds that students have committed rules violations, they are likely to face serious consequences. For instance, depending on their circumstances, they may lose their scholarships, financial aid, and housing. They may also be ineligible to participate in athletic and extracurricular events.
The nature of the offense can dictate the outcome. In extreme cases, suspension and even expulsion from school are potential remedies. Circumstances such as these can make it extremely challenging for students to finish their degrees and obtain employment.
A Deerfield Beach Student Defense Attorney May Be Able to Help
Students often underestimate the penalties that they can face for a criminal act, both in the criminal justice system and in the university discipline setting. No matter how minor an infraction may initially seem, individuals in this position should strongly consider the merits of consulting a Deerfield Beach student defense lawyer for advice.
By engaging legal representation, you may have a better chance of reaching a positive result and retaining your ability to pursue your education. Getting the advice that you need in this situation can be a necessary step toward achieving that goal.