Bethesda Student Defense Lawyer
The DMV is home to many of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities, and for many of the students who attend them, pursuing higher education is their first experience with living independently from their families. Unfortunately, this newfound freedom can sometimes lead to young people making decisions that might come back to haunt them—not only in the form of criminal prosecution, but also in disciplinary proceedings from their school.
If you and your child are facing one or both of these scenarios following an accusation of improper conduct at school, seeking support from a capable Bethesda student defense lawyer could be key to effectively pursuing a positive resolution. Even misdemeanor charges or purely academic conduct violations can have a drastic impact on a student’s future prospects, especially if they try to advocate on their own behalf without an experienced defense attorney helping them.
What Could Legal Counsel Help With?
With relatively few exceptions, every person who pursues higher education of any kind in Maryland is over the age of 18, which means they would almost certainly be charged and prosecuted as an adult if they are arrested for allegedly violating state law. Compared to the sanctions that an adjudication of guilt in juvenile court may result in, the penalties that could come with adult criminal charges are exponentially more severe and may include jail or prison time, even for a first-time offender.
Common criminal charges that a seasoned Bethesda student defense attorney could help contest include:
- Underage alcohol possession or consumption
- Disorderly conduct and/or public intoxication
- Controlled substance possession
- Shoplifting and other forms of theft
- Sexual assault
Qualified legal counsel could also provide crucial guidance when it comes to dealing with allegations that are not prohibited by law but could still have serious repercussions at school—for example, accusations of cheating or plagiarism.
Criminal Trials Versus School Disciplinary Action
Whenever someone stands accused of a crime in Maryland, they have certain rights constitutionally guaranteed to them throughout their criminal proceedings, like the right to have legal representation and the right to refuse to answer incriminating questions. Importantly, though, these rights are not always guaranteed during proceedings overseen by school disciplinary bodies like student conduct boards. In addition, the standards of proof those bodies are looking for rarely reach the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard to which criminal courts are held.
Because of this, it can be critical to have help from a defense lawyer specifically experienced with student defense when facing disciplinary action from a college or university in or around Bethesda. Even if defense counsel cannot accompany a student into their hearing personally, they could still ensure they understand what rights they do have and help them prepare a comprehensive strategy for contesting the allegations against them.
Get in Touch with a Bethesda Student Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
Criminal accusations or allegations of violating a conduct code as a student can have extremely high stakes regardless of your criminal or educational history. A single conviction or guilty finding from a disciplinary board could permanently cut you off from future educational and occupational opportunities, and you might even face criminal fines and/or incarceration.
Fortunately, the help you or your child might need is available from a dedicated Bethesda student defense lawyer. Call today to schedule a consultation.