There’s never a good time to be charged with a crime, but a criminal conviction, while you’re in college, can be especially damaging. Depending on the nature of your conviction, you could be expelled from school and unable to finish your degree. And of course, there are criminal penalties to consider, like jail time and fines.
For all of these reasons and more, it’s imperative to get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’re a college student and have been charged with a crime. The Virginia criminal defense lawyers at Shannon & Associates, P.C., are former prosecutors with experience handling all manner of criminal cases, including those involving college students. Keep reading to learn more about the possible consequences of a criminal conviction in college and how a lawyer could help.
Consequences for Criminal Convictions While Enrolled in College
There are many possible penalties for criminal convictions in college. Students face the standard penalties that come with a criminal conviction and other consequences applied by the college or university. After all, schools must provide a safe environment for other students, teachers, and staff.
Some of the common effects of a criminal conviction on college students include:
- Jail time
- Community service
- Registering as a sex offender upon conviction for a sex crime
- Losing driving privileges for certain driving offenses, such as driving under the influence
- Being barred from certain jobs
Other consequences of a criminal conviction:
- Forced withdrawal from college or university
- Losing financial aid
- Being forced out of or denied access to student housing
- Having an admission offer rescinded
- Being blocked from on-campus athletics, student organizations, and clubs
- Being forced to attend counseling
- Struggling to find work
- Difficulty obtaining credit, making it challenging to buy a house or car
Why Having an Attorney Matters If You Face Sanctions from Your College or University
Not all schools allow students attorney representation during on-campus judiciary hearings, but it’s critical to speak with a lawyer if you’re facing sanctions. Even if an attorney isn’t allowed to be in the room with you during a hearing, they can help you. By studying university rules and policies, examining the evidence against you, and helping you prepare for the hearing, your lawyer can improve your chances of avoiding the worst possible repercussions of a criminal charge.
How an Attorney Could Help If You’re a College Student Facing a Criminal Charge
Because of the significant impact a criminal conviction could have on your future, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after being charged. Aside from the potential implications for your college career, an attorney can work to have your case dismissed, arrange a plea deal, or fight for acquittal if your case goes to trial.
It’s important to note is that even if your criminal charges are dropped, you might still face sanctions from your school for the alleged crime. Colleges and universities don’t have to follow the same standards as courts, so they might be able to kick you out of school or inflict other penalties regardless of the outcome of your criminal case. With a lawyer’s help, you can make a stronger case in the hopes of resuming your college career without further interruption.
If you’re a Virginia college student charged with a crime, speak to the criminal defense lawyers at Shannon & Associates immediately. Get a confidential consultation with one of our Chesapeake criminal defense attorneys by calling our office or visiting our contact page.