If your child is attending school in Central Florida, the last thing you want is a phone call from them or the police telling you they were arrested. Unfortunately, young people do not always make wise decisions, and contact with law enforcement is not unusual.
Depending on the circumstances, an arrest could result in significant consequences. If law enforcement arrests your child for a serious or violent crime, the primary concern must be defending them. However, even if a prosecutor declines to pursue a case, a school usually receives notice of a student’s arrest, and disciplinary proceedings might ensue.
If your child was arrested on any charge, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer could help. An experienced Mount Dora student defense lawyer could fight to get your child the best possible outcome with the fewest lingering consequences.
Typical Student Crimes
Law enforcement might arrest a student for any crime, but certain situations frequently arise amongst young people coming into adulthood. Students often face charges like:
Behavior that leads to such charges could result from immaturity and peer pressure. An experienced attorney in Mount Dora who defends students recognizes that poor decision-making is a part of growing up, and one bad mistake should not impact an entire future. Keeping that principle foremost in mind, a legal professional will exert every effort to preserve a student’s opportunities for graduate education, future employment, and professional licensing.
Defending Students from Criminal Charges
Police often arrest college students for relatively minor infractions. Thankfully, when a young person is pursuing an education and is a first offender, prosecutors are often willing to dispose of charges and not create a permanent criminal record. In some cases, they might offer a plea to a lesser charge or dismiss a charge entirely if an accused pays restitution and perhaps agrees to a probation period. Drug court might be a reasonable alternative if charges involve alcohol or controlled substances. After completing treatment, a court dismisses charges, and a young person does not have a criminal record.
If a student is facing serious charges that carry harsh penalties, a Mount Dora lawyer could construct a strong defense. Challenging a prosecutor’s evidence, offering exculpatory information, highlighting sloppy or improper law enforcement procedures, and presenting a student in the most sympathetic light could achieve a satisfactory result.
University Code of Conduct Hearings
Regardless of the disposition of criminal charges, a student is likely to face disciplinary proceedings at their school. The charges might not be related to the activity that prompted an arrest—sometimes, the mere fact of an arrest is a violation of a school’s honor code or code of conduct. A hearing on a disciplinary matter could result in a student being:
- Evicted from student housing
- Placed on some form of conduct probation
- Ordered to undergo counseling or treatment
- Suspended from school for a semester or longer
Student disciplinary proceedings can have a devastating impact. A suspended or expelled student might be denied admittance to other undergraduate institutions or graduate school, could be prevented from earning a professional license, and might not pass a background investigation for some jobs. A student and their family must take these proceedings seriously.
A defense attorney in Mount Dora has extensive experience representing students in disciplinary proceedings. Although they are usually called hearings, a student rarely has significant due process rights and may not have the right to cross-examine witnesses or challenge evidence. By focusing on a student’s positive attributes and coaching a student to show appropriate remorse, a legal advocate could persuade a disciplinary board to show leniency.
Trust Your Child’s Criminal Case to a Mount Dora Student Defense Attorney
If your student has run into trouble with law enforcement, they need your support and the support of a skilled legal team. With so much at stake, investing in a professional criminal defense is worth every penny.
Contact a Mount Dora student defense lawyer as soon as you learn of an arrest. Together, you can help preserve a bright future.