College is a time for learning and growth. This comes with successes and failures alike, and when mistakes like trouble with the law or academic hearings come into your life, you may need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your reputation and your future.
If you were charged with a crime while in college in the Maryland area, or if you are involved in academic hearings and need an attorney to represent you, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore criminal defense lawyers for college students can help represent you in your case and fight to have charges dropped and dismissed and penalties reduced. For a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Common Criminal Charges for College Students
People of any age are capable of committing many crimes. However, certain crimes are much more common among college students than other crimes. Most of these offenses are based in mistakes, poor decisions, and indiscretions rather than serious, intentional harm – but some crimes common on college campuses do involve serious harm to the alleged victim and potentially life-changing consequences for the defendant. If you are charged with any crime in Maryland, you could face jail time and penalties for nearly any of these common offenses for college students:
Many college students recreationally use drugs or use prescription medications as study aids. Marijuana, Ritalin, and Adderall are some of the most common drugs used by college students, but students may also use harder more illicit drugs like cocaine or “party drugs” such as MDMA (ecstasy/Molly). Other common narcotic prescription drugs like Vicodin, Percocet, or Valium may also be used recreationally. Possession of any of these drugs without a valid prescription in your name can lead to criminal charges.
Charges for selling drugs or drug trafficking can be far more serious. These charges may arise from students selling their prescription drugs to others or for dealing on campus. Any drug trafficking charges can be extremely serious in Maryland.
Drinking before you turn 21 is incredibly common, especially in college. However, this does not change the fact that it is illegal, and you could face citations for underage drinking or underage possession of alcohol if you are caught with alcohol in your dorm or police confront you after a night out.
Fake ID Violations
Many under-21s use fake IDs to get themselves access to bars. Possession or use of a false ID could be a serious offense if used to procure alcohol. If you give your fake ID to a police officer, this could constitute even more serious charges. Even borrowing a sibling or cousin’s old ID could be a crime.
Drunk driving offenses are common among college students, but these offenses can have serious penalties. You could face high fines, jail time, and even license suspensions if you are convicted of driving under the influence.
Being drunk or rowdy in public can disturb others. Walking through town or on campus late at night and making loud noises or performing other disorderly acts such as fighting could result in low-level criminal charges.
Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault on college campuses is a serious problem, and, as such, police and prosecutors often take sexual offenses like sexual assault and rape very seriously. Especially if the act involved force or drugs used on the victim, these charges could be very serious.
Hiring a Defense Lawyer for Criminal Charges While in College
If you are charged with a crime, you could ruin your academic career. Being convicted of a criminal offense could potentially mean being unable to finish school, especially if you are in jail. It is important to fight the charges against you to avoid a criminal record and continue your college education.
An attorney can help defend you in your case. You may have heard of your Miranda rights before and understand that you have the right to an attorney when facing criminal charges and questioning by police while you are in custody. If you are arrested and interrogated about an alleged offense, always ask for an attorney. The right to an attorney is stronger than the right to remain silent, and police must stop asking you questions until your attorney is present.
Your attorney can also represent you in court. You may have multiple appearances in court before a trial is even scheduled. These appearances might present a good opportunity for your lawyer to begin challenging the evidence against you and to negotiate reduced charges or plea agreements for your case.
In many cases of low-level offenses, your attorney may be able to negotiate a deal. This deal could involve a plea deal where you would plead guilty to lower-level offenses in exchange for having harsher charges dropped. In other situations, you may be able to participate in programs, education, community service, and restitution in exchange for having the charges against you dropped. Your lawyer can negotiate your case on your behalf and help you achieve a more just outcome.
If your school is considering disciplining you or expelling you based on the conduct involved in your criminal charges, you may need an attorney to represent you in disciplinary hearings and help keep you in school. Our lawyers can also help with these hearings.
Call Our Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorneys for College Students for a Free Consultation
If you were charged with a crime while attending college in the Baltimore area, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore criminal defense attorneys for college students may be able to take your case and fight to get your charges dropped or dismissed. For a free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291