Gaithersburg Student Defense Lawyer
College students are often experiencing freedom from parental authority for the first time in their lives. These young adults understandably have lapses in judgment. College is a time for exploration and personal development, and students should not have their future ruined due to a simple mistake.
If you or your child has been accused of a criminal offense, a Gaithersburg student defense lawyer may be able to help. A criminal defense attorney could advocate for you during disciplinary hearings and protect you from any negative repercussions.
Common Criminal Charges for College Students in Gaithersburg
When a student first experiences life outside their family home, they may engage in risky behaviors such as underage drinking or driving under the influence. Though these activities may be common on college campuses, the consequences of a conviction can be harsh.
Other common criminal charges a college student may face include:
- Vandalism and trespassing
- Marijuana or drug possession
- Resisting law enforcement
Many university students have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, which may put them in a better position to avoid harsh penalties. However, a conviction could still lead to a permanent criminal record, fines, probation, or even incarceration. Consulting with a student defense lawyer in the area could improve one’s chances of a positive outcome.
College and University Disciplinary Proceedings
Regardless of the outcome of any arrests or criminal charges, college students could also face significant consequences from their school’s disciplinary board. Allegations that a student has committed a criminal offense may be enough to trigger disciplinary proceedings.
While procedures vary widely across different campuses, some characteristics of these hearings are common. In most situations, students will face their accusations in front of a student disciplinary board. This group may be composed of a combination of students, faculty, and administrators.
Navigating these proceedings can be challenging, and attempting to do so without legal counsel could lead to a negative outcome. Anyone preparing for a college disciplinary hearing should consider reaching out to a local student defense attorney.
Difference Between School Disciplinary Hearings and Criminal Trials
Disciplinary proceedings in a college or university setting are far different than those that occur in a courtroom. In the criminal justice system, all individuals are afforded certain constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, and a presumption of innocence.
In college hearings, however, students may not have these rights. Prosecutors in a courtroom must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a criminal conviction.
Evidence showing that it is likely that a student violated the conduct code can be enough to punish them. Even unreliable evidence that would be inadmissible in a court proceeding could be used against students in school hearings.
Following a disciplinary hearing, students may receive harsh penalties such as the loss of scholarships, academic probation, suspension, or even expulsion. A defense attorney with experience in handling conduct violations could protect a student’s academic future.
Speak with a Gaithersburg Student Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing criminal charges or punishments for code of conduct violations, a Gaithersburg student defense lawyer could advocate for you. Do not let a lapse in judgment impact your academic and professional future. Call our firm today to get a knowledgeable legal professional on your side.