Prince William County Student Defense Lawyer

One error in judgment as a college student can lead to severe consequences. You are likely to be worried about your future and whether you will be able to move ahead with your career as planned. A Prince William County student defense lawyer may be able to counteract the charges that you are facing and protect both your rights and your future.

College students tend to be young adults who may never have lived outside of their family home or been free to make their own daily decisions. Predictably, many college students make mistakes and other wrong moves that land them in trouble with the law. A criminal defense lawyer may be useful in this type of situation.

Criminal Charges and College Students

College students can face the same criminal charges as other adults, but they also can face charges related to alcohol possession or consumption; they may be legal adults, but many college students are still not old enough to drink. As a result, some of the most common criminal charges that college students may experience include:

  • Underage possession or consumption of alcohol
  • Possession of marijuana or controlled substances
  • DUI
  • Assault and sexual assault

Many of these criminal charges arise out of fraternity and sorority functions, clubs, house parties, and other venues where college students gather to relax and socialize. All too often, these parties include large amounts of alcohol and drugs, which can directly lead to most of the criminal charges that students commonly face. Fortunately, a student defense lawyer in Prince William County may able to help college students with their legal problems.

Potential Repercussions for Criminal Charges

A first-time arrest or criminal charge is likely to be a distressing and frightening experience for most college students. The potential consequences of a criminal conviction can be grave and may include probation, fines, restitution, community service, a term of probation, loss of the ability to drive, and jail time. Fortunately, there may be ways to fight back against criminal charges with the assistance of a student defense attorney in Prince William County.

A criminal conviction can be a serious hurdle to overcome for students who are applying for internships, jobs, and graduate or professional schools. A background check typically reveals all records related to arrests, charges, and convictions. The records that criminal proceedings may leave behind can be highly detrimental for college students who are attempting to prepare for a future career or enter specific career fields.

College or University Disciplinary Proceedings

An arrest or criminal charge, even if students can complete a deferral program, have the charges dismissed, or found not guilty, still can trigger student disciplinary proceedings at their colleges or universities. While these proceedings vary significantly from school to school, all schools maintain some conduct code that students must follow. When students violate some provisions of the code of conduct standards, then they can face potential consequences that may be quite serious.

A finding of guilt in a disciplinary proceeding may result in the loss of college credits for the remainder of the semester, curfews, probation, loss of access to some student privileges, suspension, and even expulsion in some cases. Any of these findings will appear on the academic records of students and can be a black mark against them when they are looking for recommendations from professors, internship opportunities, jobs, and admission to graduate school.

Since these administrative proceedings do not go through the legal system, they may occur regardless of the outcome of any criminal charges. Students also will not be entitled the constitutional rights that they enjoy during criminal court cases. Rather than remaining innocent until proven guilty, these proceedings often force students to prove their innocence affirmatively, which is not always easy.

Get Help from a Prince William County Student Defense Attorney Today

The outcome of both criminal and disciplinary proceedings at your college or university can be crucial to your future. There may be defenses and avenues of resolution in both these situations that you can take advantage of with the help of a Prince William County student defense lawyer.

Focusing on your future requires you to remedy past mistakes and deal with consequences in some cases. Having legal representation in student disciplinary and court proceedings can be essential to moving forward with your life in a positive manner.