Being charged with any kind of crime while attending college or university can have consequences far beyond interfering with your studies or your ability to remain a student at the same institution. Anyone accused of a criminal act after turning 18 will be prosecuted as an adult in Virginia, and even misdemeanor offenses could potentially lead to steep fines and jail time. And those don’t even compare to the life-altering repercussions that a felony conviction could have on your life.
If you need help dealing with criminal allegations as a student, speaking with a Loudoun County student defense lawyer should be a priority. By working with a compassionate defense attorney who knows how to handle both criminal trials and student conduct proceedings, you could give yourself the best chance of obtaining the best possible outcome for your situation.
While underage possession of alcohol might be a stereotypical criminal offense for college students to commit, there are numerous charges that students in Loudoun County often find themselves facing. A skilled Loudoun County student defense attorney could help addressing any single offense or combination of offenses like:
Legal counsel can also provide valuable assistance when facing allegations of misconduct under student codes of conduct. Many misconduct allegations are not criminal in nature. For example, cheating, plagiarism, or inappropriate use of school property can all be code of conduct violations. Qualified legal counsel could explain the potential consequences of a specific allegation in detail during a confidential consultation.
Part of what makes criminal charges especially worrisome for college and university students is the fact that they often result in disciplinary action on two fronts. Because virtually every criminal offense defined under state law is also considered a breach of every state university’s code of conduct, students who are arrested for even minor misdemeanor offenses find themselves dealing with administrative hearings at school and prosecution in criminal court.
Importantly, the outcome of one of these proceedings generally has no bearing on the outcome of the other. A person acquitted of criminal charges committed while they were a student may still face sanctions from their college or university, and vice versa.
Furthermore, academic institutions rarely provide their students with all the same rights as those afforded to them in criminal court under the Constitution. Students who appear before conduct boards may not have the right to have representation regardless of their ability to retain private counsel. That said, assistance from a student defense lawyer in Loudoun County can still be key to preparing for an administrative conduct hearing and defending the students throughout those proceedings.
Many college and university students who are accused of criminal conduct have no prior experience with the criminal justice system. Protecting your rights in court while also dealing with disciplinary action from school can be an overwhelming event. Fortunately, assistance is available from knowledgeable legal professionals who have helped countless students like you through similar situations in the past.
A Loudoun County student defense lawyer could answer questions and clarify possible next steps during a private initial meeting. Schedule yours by calling today.
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