Virginia Student Defense Lawyer

Young adults are prone to making mistakes, and college students are no exception. As a college student, however, the stakes may higher, as you may face both criminal prosecution and student disciplinary proceedings through your college or university. Due to the potential damage that these proceedings can inflict upon the lives of college students, consulting a Virginia student defense lawyer for assistance is highly advisable.

A permanent criminal record and a black mark on your academic records can be detrimental to your ability to maintain scholarships, obtain internships and jobs, and pursue certain careers. Avoiding these consequences can be critical to a better chance of success, both personally and professionally, in the future. With a skilled criminal defense lawyer at your side, you may place yourself in a better position to achieve your future goals.

Common Criminal Offenses Among College Students

Although college students can face prosecution for any criminal offenses, students are involved in some crimes more commonly than others. For example, many students wind up facing offenses involving underage alcohol possession or consumption.

College students also may encounter criminal charges for DUI, possession of marijuana or other controlled substances, assault, shoplifting, or vandalism.

In many cases, these incidents arise from the college “party” scene, at fraternity and sorority house functions, bars, clubs, and private parties. Even if not directly alcohol or drug-related, the offenses may still involve the use of substances that alter the judgment of students in some way.

A student defense lawyer in Virginia may be able to assist college students whose errors in judgment lead to criminal charges.

Potential Consequences for Students Charged with Crimes

Even for a college student with no criminal record, the potential consequences can be harsh. The repercussions of a criminal prosecution may include:

  • Probation and completion of community service hours
  • High fines, costs, and restitution
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Incarceration

These ramifications of criminal prosecution can be devastating to college students and create a permanent criminal record that can be difficult for them to overcome. Having a permanent stain on their criminal history can overshadow their other accomplishments and academic performance. In an already highly competitive environment, students who suffer these consequences may fall behind their classmates.

Virginia College Student Disciplinary Proceedings

Aside from any criminal proceedings that college students may be facing, they also are likely to face student disciplinary proceedings as a collateral consequence of criminal prosecution.
Even for students who are arrested but never charged, or those who can take advantage of a deferral program that results in the dismissal of charges, student conduct code proceedings still may ensue.

Representation by an experienced student defense attorney in Virginia can be essential to potentially avoiding or minimizing the outcome of these administrative proceedings. Findings that college students have violated university rules and regulations can result in loss of academic credits, restrictions on participation in extracurricular activities, probation, suspension, and expulsion.

These sanctions can leave a mark on academic records of students that can be detrimental to their future goals. Scholarship committees, prospective employers, and graduate school admissions officers may discount students with academic records marred by misconduct.

College disciplinary proceedings involve different rules than those in the criminal justice system. As a result, students may have to prove evidence that they did not commit a violation, rather than requiring another party, such as the prosecutor’s office, to prove their guilt. This can lead to the admission of hearsay and other unreliable evidence from witnesses or other parties who have prejudiced or self-interested accounts of the incident.

Let a Virginia Student Defense Attorney Assist You

When you are in college, you are likely to be working hard to earn good grades and engage in activities designed to benefit you in the future. The punishments that you can face for a simple mistake may compromise these efforts in a significant way. If you are in this situation, you may wish to enlist the assistance of a Virginia student defense lawyer.

Focusing on your future means keeping your school and criminal records free from any findings of misconduct or illegal acts. Failure to adequately protect yourself from accusations of wrongdoing can mean the difference between success and failure. Getting the legal representation that you need may enable you to continue on your path to success.