DC Student Defense Lawyer

Students do not have to face disciplinary actions or serious criminal charges alone, they should secure legal counsel to help protect their rights. By working with an experienced DC student defense lawyer, you can make smart decisions and handle your case efficiently and proactively, taking every opportunity to ensure that mistakes during your internal proceedings do not end up affecting any criminal charges that may arise subsequently or at the same time.

It is important to remember that on-campus investigations and hearings can be vastly different from normal criminal charges and trials and unfortunately, the accused is on the losing end when it comes to things like standards of evidence and due process. Contact a criminal defense attorney in DC if you are facing charges.

Common Pitfalls for Student Defendants

In many cases, wrongdoing is first reported to campus security. An individual’s school may approach them before the police, and this can put that student at a significant disadvantage. Most schools have internal disciplinary boards that write, prosecute, and adjudicate their student codes of conduct, and they often do so in a way that limits the rights and protections of accused students. When someone moves into a college dorm, they frequently waive any expectation of privacy in school-owned living spaces. This means their dorm room can be searched by campus police or administrators without a warrant, probable cause, or advance warning.

Students do not have many rights when it comes to university searches in on-campus housing. In addition, campus disciplinary codes may restrict evidence they can use to defend themselves and strictly limit an attorney’s ability to advocate on their behalf. Schools are also increasingly adopting affirmative consent standards in sexual assault cases, and using lower burdens of proof to decrease the evidence necessary to find an accused student responsible.

The statements someone makes to their school and the evidence found in an internal investigation could later be used by police in criminal proceedings where the consequences can include jail time. Even if their case is only handled by their university, they are still at risk for expulsion, suspension, or other in-school penalties that could destroy their future. A DC student defense lawyer understands the special rules schools use for disciplinary proceedings, is familiar with disciplinary procedures in academic settings, and knows the criminal laws applicable to common student offenses. Someone’s attorney will be by their side to advocate for them and ensure their rights are protected during a school or police investigation.

Working with a DC Student Defense Attorney

Police, prosecutors, and academic disciplinary boards are increasingly aggressive when it comes to prosecutors facing criminal charges. Students need to ensure they have an advocate to help them protect themselves. As soon as an accusation is made or they are called in for questioning, they should contact a DC student defense attorney.

Whether facing criminal charges stemming from an off-campus arrest or on-campus disciplinary charges that are being handled via an internal judicial process, DC attorneys can assist someone. Some of the common charges handled include, but are not limited to:

  • Sex crimes
  • Drug crimes
  • Assault
  • Weapons charges

Potential Consequences

The consequences of criminal accusations can be severe, whether the police and prosecutors are pursuing your case, or whether your school is taking action against you. For example, a sexual assault charge could lead to jail time and sex offender registration, along with possible suspension or expulsion from school. Additionally, local police departments have increasingly been cracking down on common criminal offenses in college towns, like fake ID charges.

Fortunately, by working with an experienced DC student defense lawyer, you can make well-informed decisions that may help you mitigate the damage posed by your charges.