While you might be aware that college students often end up in legal trouble, you may be unaware of the potential repercussions of these errors in judgment. With the potential of a criminal arrest and court proceedings, you may also face student disciplinary proceedings through your college or university. Since these proceedings can have adverse effects on your future, you may wish to contact a Collin County student defense lawyer for advice.
An experienced defense attorney may protect your rights and guide you through any criminal proceedings in which you are involved. Legal counsel may be able to advocate on your behalf in any school-related conduct code proceedings to reach a solution in both cases that has a minimal impact on your future.
College Students and Criminal Offenses
Most college students are between the ages of 18 and 21 while they are away at college, which makes them legal adults. Consequently, they are vulnerable to the same criminal charges as any other adult. While college students could face all types of criminal charges, some common charges that they might encounter include:
- Alcohol-related offenses such as minor consumption, minor possession, providing alcohol to minors, and DWI
- Minor drug possession or distribution
- Disorderly conduct and resisting arrest
- Assault and sexual assault
These offenses range in severity from Class C misdemeanor charges for minors in possession of alcohol to high-level felony charges for an assault that results in serious bodily injury or involves a gun or other deadly weapons. While some offenses do not carry the possibility of jail time, others can result in substantial prison time. For students facing criminal charges, getting the advice of a student defense attorney in Collin County may be crucial when attempting to avoiding a permanent criminal record.
While criminal charges can bring about the potential for jail time, probation, fines, and community service requirements, there are often defenses that be available for college students in this situation, especially for first offenses. Pre-trial intervention programs may help students avoid a black mark on their criminal background that could impact their future job search and professional licensure.
University Disciplinary Proceedings in Collin County
Aside from the possible ramifications of criminal charges, students also may face disciplinary proceedings through their college or university. Most schools have a code of conduct that all students must follow. An arrest, criminal charges, and criminal convictions all can trigger the beginning of student disciplinary actions.
Even if the state later dismisses the charges or if students complete pre-trial diversion programs to resolve their criminal matters, the arrest could be enough to initiate disciplinary action. These proceedings are far different from criminal proceedings; there are no rules of evidence, no constitutional rights, and no right to counsel. It should be noted that students are typically free to have the advice of counsel or another advocate.
The outcome of student disciplinary proceedings can be harsh; students may lose privileges, be placed on probation, suspended, or even expelled in some cases. These proceedings can leave a permanent black mark on school records that may make it more difficult for students to obtain coveted internships, jobs, and admission to graduate or professional schools. Having the assistance of a student defense attorney in Collin County may benefit students are involved in college disciplinary or conduct code proceedings.
A Collin County Student Defense Attorney Could Help
Both criminal charges and student disciplinary proceedings might have a damaging effect on your future. You may lose out on valuable opportunities that would enhance your career and even lose college credit. A Collin County student defense lawyer may be able to protect your rights and represent your interests throughout both proceedings.
Given that nothing is more important than your future, you should take all steps necessary to protect it. One of these steps may include getting advice from legal counsel before proceeding any further with criminal or disciplinary proceedings. Call today for the help you need.