If you have been arrested on criminal charges as a college student, trying to handle the manner on your own and without your parents may seem like a good idea. In practice, however, this strategy may backfire and leave you subject to the whims of an aggressive criminal prosecutor and a school that is likely to punish you. Protect your rights by getting the help of a Chattanooga student defense lawyer.
A conviction on a criminal charge could lead to an avoidable criminal record that could be detrimental to your future. Criminal proceedings also could lead to other undesirable consequences, including suspension of your driver’s license, assessment of fines, and even incarceration in some cases. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to assist you in avoiding the collateral ramifications of a criminal charge and any ensuing student disciplinary proceedings.
Most college students still are under the age of 21, and even if they are of legal age, they still could face charges for DUIs and providing alcohol to minors. Even if the charge does not directly involve alcohol, alcohol use may lead to other criminal charges.
Other types of criminal charges that college students commonly face include:
College students are susceptible to both misdemeanor and felony charges, both of which have severe consequences. Even students who have no prior criminal history could face significant repercussions for more serious criminal convictions. In this situation, college students need a student defense lawyer in Chattanooga who could defend them against criminal allegations and protect their rights.
What many students often fail to recognize is that a criminal arrest could still have adverse effects on education. Students could face college disciplinary charges even if they never face criminal charges following an arrest or a dismissal of charges.
Violations of university conduct codes could include any allegations of criminal behavior. The standard of proof is much lower in college disciplinary proceedings, and students do not enjoy the benefit of legal representation and constitutional rights. In other words, students could face disciplinary measures even if the evidence does not prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Potential ramifications of college conduct code proceedings could include loss of scholarships, placement on academic probation, and loss of other privileges. Students have a permanent record of disciplinary action that employers, professional schools, and graduate schools all may access. A disciplinary finding could cause students to lose out on valuable internships and job opportunities in the future.
College or university conduct proceedings are purely administrative and operate quite differently than criminal court proceedings. While the exact nature of these proceedings differs slightly from one college to another, many of them share similar characteristics. The starkest contrast between criminal court and conduct code proceedings is the lack of rights and protections for the student accused of wrongdoing.
Students typically are not entitled to have attorneys represent their interests in these proceedings. The standard of proof is much lower in these proceedings; administrators need to show only that more likely than not, the student committed the conduct code violation. Without the assistance of a student defense attorney in Chattanooga, students could face maximum penalties for any findings of guilt.
Whether you are facing criminal charges, student disciplinary charges, or both, you deserve a strong advocate who could protect your interests at all stages of your proceedings. By enlisting the services of a Chattanooga student defense lawyer, you may place yourself in a better position to overcome the allegations against you.
The consequences of both criminal and university disciplinary proceedings could be severe and highly damaging to your future. Do not hesitate to get the legal advice that you need in this situation and fight back against the accusations that you are facing.