Every alleged violation of the criminal laws in Arizona is a serious matter. However, university and college students need to take special care to protect themselves. Of course, a conviction for any criminal case can result in severe penalties. In addition, students may face discipline at their schools even if they avoid a conviction.
School disciplinary boards have the authority to investigate and punish student behavior independently of the courts. This means that they can act swiftly to remove privileges, issue a suspension, or even expel students. Making matters worse, schools often offer little in the way of due process for students to be able to defend themselves.
If you are facing an investigation relating to apparent misconduct, an Arizona student defense lawyer can help. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can work with you to construct a strong defense while fighting for your right to continue your education. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Students in colleges and universities must follow the state’s criminal laws just like any other adult. In addition, security staff at schools must report any violations of the law to the local police. This means that if a student allegedly commits a crime on campus, or anywhere else for that matter, they are likely to face criminal charges in court.
Typical charges that students often face include:
While some offenses are minor and would be classified as a misdemeanor, others are felonies and could result in prison sentences. In either case, a skilled attorney could help to formulate a defense for students facing criminal charges.
Potential consequences of a criminal charge can vary greatly depending on the nature of the offense and the presence of mitigating or aggravating factors. State law provides a list of mitigating and aggravating factors that apply to most felony cases. For example, a Class 5 felony could result in a jail sentence of as little as six months when the alleged offender has no prior offenses. However, aggravating factors could lengthen a sentence to as long as two and a half years.
State sentencing laws can be tricky to understand. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the potential consequences you are facing given the unique facts of your case.
Defending against criminal charges is only one step in helping students retain their freedoms. The mere appearance of impropriety could lead a school to initiate its own investigation. In fact, a school can act on its own initiative and punish students even if a criminal court declines to do so. The penalties can range in severity from a warning against future misconduct, to a suspension, to expulsion.
Unfortunately for students, they often lack effective means to defend themselves. Colleges do not need to adhere to the rules of criminal procedure or evidence like criminal courts do. They may bring charges with little opportunity for a student to examine the evidence or talk to witnesses. An Arizona student defense lawyer could help to stand up for a student’s rights during the process, prepare them for the investigation, and, when applicable, present a defense personally before the inquiry board.
Students facing accusations of criminal conduct need to act quickly to protect themselves. Formal criminal charges can result in the creation of a criminal record, the payment of fines, and time in prison. Additionally, a school’s disciplinary board can act against a student that is facing allegations on or off-campus, leaving you facing potential suspension or even expulsion.
Contacting an Arizona student defense lawyer can help you to retain control over this process and offer a potent defense. Your rights deserve protection, and as former prosecutors, our dedicated defense attorneys can help. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to schedule your case consultation.