Winter Park and the surrounding neighborhoods and cities are home to thousands of undergraduate and post-graduate college students. Some attend nearby Rollins College or one of the many other schools around the metro area. Wherever someone gets an education, it is important for them to understand that what they do outside of school can have a significant impact on their academic career. Especially if it violates state law.
Criminal charges can be uniquely challenging for college students to deal with without support from an experienced defense attorney, particularly if they are also dealing with school disciplinary proceedings at the same time. A qualified Winter Park college student defense lawyer could provide assistance in both respects, helping you or your child build strong defense strategies for both criminal court and student conduct hearings.
With some exceptions, most people who attend college or university in Florida is at least 18 years old, which means that they are considered legal adults in the eyes of state government and law enforcement authorities. Unfortunately, this also means that what might have been treated less harshly in juvenile court can—and often does—result in serious criminal penalties if committed by a college student, up to and including jail or prison time.
A Winter Park college student defense attorney can help with handling a host of different criminal allegations that college students often find themselves facing, including:
Seasoned legal counsel can also help with allegations of hazing within campus organizations. Florida Statutes § 1006.63 defines this as a criminal offense which, in some situations, can even be prosecuted as a third-degree felony.
While no college student wants to find themselves in a courtroom defending against criminal charges, they can take at least some solace in the constitutional rights which will be afforded to them throughout this process. For example, they have the right to refuse to answer questions or otherwise incriminate themselves, and the right to retain private legal counsel or have counsel provided to them. The same cannot be said for disciplinary action taken against college students by their schools, where these rights are not guaranteed by law and may not be provided at all.
Furthermore, the standard of proof required for a guilty finding in on-campus disciplinary hearings is typically much less stringent than the standard applicable in criminal court. Someone may be found guilty of violating their school’s code of conduct even if they are acquitted, have their charges dropped, or were never charged at all in criminal court. Even if they cannot accompany a Winter Park college student into such a disciplinary proceeding, a skilled defense lawyer could still provide vital assistance with preparing a strong defense and practicing what to say during the proceeding itself.
One poor choice or misunderstanding during college can have life-altering repercussions if it results in criminal charges or even just in school disciplinary action. In both scenarios, having help from knowledgeable legal counsel could make a huge difference in how you can protect your rights in the face of the allegations.
Speaking with a Winter Park college student defense lawyer could provide you with clarity and confidence regarding your next steps. Learn more by calling today and getting help from The Umansky Law Firm.
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