Students at colleges and universities have more to lose than many when facing allegations of criminal activity. As adults, they face full punishment under the law if a court convicts them of a crime. At the same time, their schools could act to investigate an alleged incident that occurred on school property and hand down punishment independently of the criminal courts.
A Hackensack student defense lawyer is prepared to help in both these areas. A criminal defense attorney could take the lead to defend a student’s ability to continue their education and help provide a thorough defense in criminal court against both misdemeanor and felony accusations.
As most students at colleges and universities are over 18, they are subject to the same laws as any other adults. This means that if they face accusations of criminal conduct, they are vulnerable to the imposition of fines or prison sentences.
Numerous criminal accusations have an exceptionally high rate of occurrence on school campuses. For instance, it is illegal for any person under 21 to possess alcohol, according to New Jersey Revised Statute § 2C:33-15. While this is unlikely to result in any substantial punishment, it can still trigger a school investigation.
More serious are allegations of drug use or violence. Merely possessing a street drug or illegal prescription medication can result in a criminal record, the payment of fines, or time spent in jail—accusations of assault under N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2C:12-1 can result in similar penalties. No matter the exact nature of the criminal accusations a student is facing, an understanding lawyer in Hackensack could help to promote an effective defense on their behalf.
Just as concerning for students is the possibility that they may face discipline from their schools. Schools can operate independently of criminal courts if they suspect that a student has violated a code of conduct. Additionally, schools must report criminal activity that impacts their students or that occurs on their property.
These disciplinary sessions often place students in a difficult position. The schools do not need to follow the rules of evidence or other protections that exist in criminal courts. They may allow a student to speak in their own defense or not.
Schools also have varying policies concerning whether a student can bring an attorney to hearings and other meetings. Nevertheless, an attorney could help Hackensack students prepare for all hearings, obtain evidence that helps defend their reputation, and prepare statements that could help demonstrate a student’s innocence.
Students who are arrested for a criminal allegation face an uphill battle. Of primary concern is the criminal case where a conviction can create a criminal record, require a person to pay a fine, or result in a jail sentence. At the same time, you need to remain aware of how the school may react. This could result in a loss of privileges, suspension, or even expulsion.
A Hackensack student defense lawyer is prepared to help you. In criminal court, our team could gather evidence that refutes the prosecutor’s claim and creates reasonable doubt. Before school disciplinary sessions, a legal professional could also help you navigate the process, prepare statements, and practice for all hearings. Give our office a call now to begin protecting your future.