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As a young adult, college is an exciting time. It is a time of expansive learning and growth, but the newfound freedom that you may be enjoying can easily get you into trouble if you cross the line from fun into criminal behavior. If the police arrested you for committing a crime, you should call a Marquette student defense lawyer. Let a seasoned criminal defense attorney protect you before your mistake becomes a mark on your record that derails your academic and professional goals.

Authorities Take Student-Committed Offenses Seriously

College students, and maybe even their parents, may think that living on campus or just being a university student protects them from the law in some way. But that is simply not the case.

Students who break the law are treated like everyone else. Although they are still young, the law sees them as adults, and they are subject to real-world consequences, such as arrest, prosecution, and criminal penalties. The ramifications of these penalties could significantly affect the rest of their lives, so it may be wise to obtain the representation of a student defense lawyer familiar with cases in Marquette.

Common Unlawful Behavior of College Students

Although university students can become involved in any form of criminal behavior, some offenses are more prevalent on and around college campuses than others. Some of these violations include:

Depending on the situation, the individual could be charged with a misdemeanor, as defined in Michigan Compiled Laws § 750.8, or a felony, as defined in Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.7. Being charged does not necessarily lead to a conviction. Working with a dedicated lawyer familiar with student defense in Marquette may help those accused assess their options and secure a favorable resolution.

Impact of a Criminal Conviction on a Student’s Life

A conviction – whether the result of a plea or trial verdict – may subject college students to jail time, hefty fines, community service orders, and the creation of a permanent record. A criminal record may hinder the student’s ability to secure housing, further their education opportunities, employment, loans, or professional licensing or certification.

Even without a conviction, an arrest could subject the student to a school disciplinary hearing where they could face punishment that includes dismissal from the institution.

Breaks for First-Time Offenders

One benefit of being so young is that this arrest may be the first for a student. If so, they might qualify for one of Michigan’s programs that gives breaks to first-time offenders for minor in possession of alcohol, controlled substance possession, and disorderly conduct charges.

Sections 333.7411, 436.1703, and 762.11 of the Michigan Compiled Laws give judges the discretion to order probation. Once the student has completed their probation, the court may order removal of the conviction from the student’s record. Probation requirements might include paying a fine, performing community service, and completing substance abuse or other appropriate treatment programs.

Attorneys who regularly practice in Marquette and are familiar with student defense cases may be best suited to help students convince the court that they deserve these breaks.

Trust a Marquette Student Defense Attorney to Fight for Your Future

One misstep can turn a student’s academic and professional plans upside down, but you do not have to face the criminal justice system or your school’s disciplinary board alone. By working with a Marquette student defense lawyer, you may prepare a comprehensive defense strategy that addresses all your concerns and achieve the outcome that best minimizes any long-lasting effects. To start building this plan, please call Berger Law today.