Representation for Students in Michigan Accused of Crimes
In November, the Department of Education released new rules that offer guidance to universities and colleges on how reports of sexual harassment and assault should be handled. These rules actually expand the rights of an accused student and narrow down the types of cases that the educational facilities are required to investigate. Like any criminal charge, the accused student is entitled to the best defense. One way to ensure this happens is by retaining a Michigan criminal attorney who will verify that justice is served.
Too often, students who are accused of committing crimes on campus stay quiet during school disciplinary hearings. They mistakenly assume that if they just relay their version of what happened, they will be fine. This is a huge mistake, as universities and colleges may use all of their resources to investigate the matter, and not being prepared can result in a negative outcome.
Common Campus Crimes
Many crimes committed by students on campus are not necessarily premeditated acts of a criminal mastermind. Many times, a lapse in judgment is what leads to bad behavior. Some cases are more serious than others and can involve serious allegations that carry hefty punishments if convicted. This is why it is important to have a skilled criminal attorney who can protect students’ rights. For example, a student caught with a tiny amount of marijuana in a dorm room has committed a far less serious offense than a student who is accused of raping another student at a campus party.
Some of the more common crimes that can involve college students include:
- Drug-related crimes, including possession and trafficking
- Date rape
- Other sex crimes
- Domestic violence
- Internet/computer crimes
- Statutory rape
Even if no criminal charges are filed, a student disciplinary hearing can have serious legal consequences that affect the student’s intended career path, no matter what the ultimate outcome is.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney
There are two major consequences when a student is accused of a crime. There is the immediate risk of criminal charges and a subsequent conviction, which could result in jail time and expensive court costs and related fines. That criminal conviction will follow them long after college is over, and could affect their ability to gain employment in their intended field, as well as cause them to lose out on apartment rentals, car loans, professional licenses, and more.
The other major consequence is the disciplinary action that the school opts to take. They could be placed on academic probation or even expelled. If they are attending a prestigious college for a specific profession, that could cause them to lose everything they have been working for. If they are on scholarships, they could lose the scholarships, and it is doubtful another prestigious college will accept them and award further scholarships.
A student who has been accused of a crime should not defend himself or herself without the benefit of experienced counsel. Every student deserves a Michigan criminal attorney who will protect his or her rights. If you are a student, or your son or daughter has been accused of a crime, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office right away to schedule a consultation.