Arlington Student Defense Lawyer
Facing allegations of criminal activity while a student in Arlington can be a frightening and intimidating experience. Not only do you need to worry about the potential effect of a criminal conviction upon the rest of your life, but your academic future may also be in jeopardy.
Schools employ codes of conduct that they use to regulate the behavior of their students. Any alleged violation of these codes can lead to investigations that are heavily biased against the accused. Even if you avoid a criminal conviction in court, a school may still issue penalties.
An Arlington student defense lawyer could help you if you are accused of committing a crime while a student. A well-versed attorney could work tirelessly to defend your rights in criminal courts and to protect your educational privileges.
Common Criminal Charges Faced by Students
College can be a difficult time for young adults. Most are leaving home for the first time and are expected to take care of their own needs. This can lead to a harsh adjustment period lingering somewhere between adolescence and adulthood.
Sadly, the law makes no such distinction. All people over the age of 18 are required to follow the law, and being a student living on campus provides no protection. Indeed, schools must report any alleged criminal activity that occurs on their property to local police.
Allegations of even misdemeanor-level offenses can have a devastating effect upon a person’s future. Relatively minor incidents such as those involving underage possession of alcohol, possession of marijuana, or petit larceny can result in jail sentences upon conviction and will create a criminal record. More serious felony allegations carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. Any student facing a criminal charge should take aggressive steps to protect themselves. An Arlington student defense lawyer could serve as legal representation in court to help defeat these charges.
Schools May Act Even if Courts do Not
Colleges and universities require their students to sign onto codes of conduct. These require students to act with good moral fiber. An allegation of criminal activity could certainly violate these requirements. Indeed, a criminal conviction could absolutely serve as evidence that a student violated this code. However, schools will conduct their investigations independently of the Commonwealth’s agents.
It is a sad fact that a school may act to discipline a student even if that student obtains an acquittal in court. Further, a school may act even if the Commonwealth declines to press charges. For these reasons, it is essential to understand how these disciplinary boards operate.
Every school has its own process, but in general, a school has the power to appoint an investigator. That investigator can gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and even compel a defendant student to answer questions in an interview. A student’s opportunities to defend themselves may be limited.
An Arlington student defense lawyer could help students to understand their rights under their schools’ codes of conduct. They can help to prepare written statements, to examine the strength of the school’s evidence, and can appear with defendants in person when permitted to answer any questioning.
An Arlington Student Defense Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Future
Any person facing criminal charges is right to be concerned. However, for students in Arlington’s colleges and universities, the consequences could stretch beyond those in criminal court. Your school has the ability to investigate any alleged wrongdoing and may choose to issue discipline even if the courts do not.
An Arlington student defense lawyer could help to protect your rights during all legal proceedings. In criminal court, they can work to form a defense that is designed to create reasonable doubt in the minds of juries. An attorney could also help you to understand your rights at school and to defend your ability to continue your education. Contact an Arlington student defense lawyer immediately to get started.