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Criminal charges and student defendants

College is traditionally a time for Connecticut students to get a first taste of freedom, but with that freedom comes additional responsibilities. College students are not exempt from peer pressure or moments of poor judgment, and it is possible for one bad decision to turn into serious criminal charges. If you are a college student accused of a crime, it is important to understand the severity of the accusations and the next steps.

Most colleges have their own code of conduct that students are expected to follow when they attend classes or live on campus. This means that students accused of crimes may find themselves facing questions and consequences from their schools as well as the local authorities. You may think that you don't need representation when dealing with school disciplinary proceedings, but it is important to remember that any statements given to the school or action taken on the part of the institution can have an effect on the criminal charges.

Talking with an attorney experienced in defending students can help you better understand how the laws apply to your case and inform you of your options moving forward. In some cases, it may be possible to get the charges dropped or accept a plea bargain. It is important to understand how any decisions made about the criminal charges will affect the disciplinary procedures of the school, however.

While many college students may not be completely on their own yet, what they do during these years can affect the rest of their lives. A criminal conviction can keep someone from working in certain industries and can have life-long consequences. A criminal charge does not automatically mean a conviction, however, and a criminal defense attorney can help guide your through the process and ensure your rights are protected.

Source: Law Office of Jerome Paun, "Criminal Defense of College Students" Sep. 15, 2014

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