Starting college marks the beginning of adulthood for many young people. There are boundless opportunities to grow and learn and making mistakes is part of the process. Some mistakes are like bumps in the road and easy to overcome. But others, such as criminal charges, can become roadblocks, altering the course of one’s life.
If you or your someone you love is facing criminal misconduct allegations, your academic success, freedom, and future may be at risk. Consult with a North Charleston student defense lawyer to learn more about your options and get your life back on track.
Bad Decisions and Unintended Consequences
Students face so many new challenges going off to college, particularly a higher level of independence. This new-found freedom can cause young adults to stumble and engage in less than desirable behavior.
Illegal Activities Common Among College Students
Bad choices become particularly prevalent with the introduction of alcohol, drugs, and peer pressure. Many accusations of illegal behavior involve controlled substances or result from their usage.
- Possession of illegal substances
- Underage drinking
- Fake identification usage
- Driving under the influence
- Assault and battery
- Destruction of property
- Sexual assault
Sentencing Classifications in North Charleston
Each criminal charge carries a particular sentencing classification. Some are misdemeanors, imposing relatively short jail terms and moderate fines. Felonies on the other hand, such as drug charges and violent offenses threaten hefty financial payouts and long incarceration periods. Courts may also order the loss of privileges, such as driver’s license suspensions, or completing a court-approved training course or therapy session.
What are Alternatives to Criminal Trials for Students?
While some criminal matters go to trial, many do not. As prosecutors and defense counsel prepare their positions, they exchange evidence and discuss the case. These interactions may lead prosecutors to agree to a reduction in charges, enter into a plea agreement, or accept participation in a pre-trial intervention program. Some cases may even warrant adjustments in the standard penalty. For example, a student facing a driver’s license suspension may be able to request limited driving privileges to school.
The majority of college students are not hardened criminals and deserve a second chance. If an acquittal is not realistic or worth the gamble, students and their families may wish to avoid trial. In North Charleston, a seasoned student defense attorney familiar with the alternative resolution options and comfortable negotiating with prosecutors may be best suited for mitigating these charges.
What are the Consequences of Criminal Charges for College Students?
Conviction or not, the college or university may accuse a student of violating the school’s code of conduct. The penalties associated with disciplinary infractions can sometimes inflict more significant damage to a student’s reputation and future than the fine or short jail sentence assigned to lower-level crimes:
- Loss of on-campus housing
- Revocation of scholarships
- Removal from sports teams or other clubs
School disciplinary hearings differ from legal trials but consulting with counsel in the area familiar with these cases and the local colleges will prepare students to respond to the allegations.
Let a North Charleston Student Defense Attorney Help Your College Kids
Do not allow one unwise decision to detour your future. Our experienced North Charleston student defense lawyers understand what you are up against. You can trust us to handle your case with the care and attention it deserves.
These attorneys can put their talents and training to work for you to make this regrettable situation go away with minimal impact on your life. Call us today to discuss your options.