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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Students on college campuses in Austin are largely over the age of 18, which subjects them to the same criminal charges and punishments as any other adult. It is not uncommon for young adults to make mistakes and end up in legal trouble, but the threat to their future from these mistakes can be very serious. If you are facing criminal charges, you may wish to take steps to protect yourself by contacting an Austin student defense lawyer for advice today.
A criminal arrest can result in legal consequences, but also can have implications resulting from violations of student disciplinary codes. An experienced defense lawyer could protect your rights and interests and work to resolve all facets of your case in the most positive manner possible.
Charges Students Often Face
College students can face a wide variety of criminal charges, but some of those offenses are more common than others. Examples of common charges on college campuses include:
- Alcohol-related charges such as DUI, DWI, public intoxication, and possession of a fake ID
- Drug possession
- Disorderly conduct
- Assault and sexual assault
While some of these offenses are more serious than others, they all can have harsh consequences, including a permanent criminal record. In fact, even if the charges are later dismissed or never filed, an arrest can still result in student conduct code proceedings through the college or university. A student defense attorney in Austin may be able to provide legal assistance to those facing arrests.
Potential Legal Penalties in Austin
Even for first-time offenders, the penalties for a criminal conviction can be harsh. The potential punishment for many misdemeanor offenses can include jail time, community supervision, and fines. Individuals who are convicted of crimes may also have to complete community service hours and will have a criminal record that can show up on background checks for years into the future.
In the case of some alcohol-related offenses, such as DWI, a person could lose their driving privileges and be required to attend alcohol education classes. Drug offenses also may require counseling and periodic testing. Whatever the penalties, they are likely to be expensive for college students and have a negative impact on their futures.
College or University Disciplinary Code Proceedings
Every college and university has established some type of disciplinary or conduct code for its students. Even behavior that occurs off campus can trigger the application of this conduct code. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceedings, student disciplinary proceedings are likely to result.
Unlike criminal court proceedings, in which the accused enjoy constitutional rights and the rules of evidence, student conduct code proceedings are purely administrative in nature. Rather than being presumed innocent until proven guilty, students often must affirmatively prove their innocence, even when the charges against them are based on hearsay or other types of evidence that are typically inadmissible in court.
The outcome of student conduct code proceedings can be highly detrimental to the accused’s future. They could end up being reprimanded, placed on probation, suspended, or even expelled from school. Perhaps most important, their school records are likely to reflect disciplinary proceedings, which could adversely affect their ability to seek internships, employment, and admission to graduate or professional schools. A student defense lawyer in Austin may be able to help provide the evidence necessary to prove innocence in this type of administrative proceeding.
Enlist the Help of an Austin Student Defense Attorney Today
When you are facing criminal charges and student disciplinary proceedings, you may not know what steps to take first. Getting the assistance of an Austin student defense lawyer may be one of the most important steps that you can take toward resolving these issues in a positive manner. Rather than leaving the outcome to chance, obtaining the legal advice that you are likely to need in this situation may alter the ultimate resolution in your cases.
Your future is important, and having a criminal conviction and a black mark on your student records can be highly damaging. Avoid potentially negative repercussions by having a strong legal advocate by your side throughout all administrative and court proceedings. Call today.