School’s Starting! Making Smart Decisions When Students
Face Legal Trouble – Denton Criminal Lawyer
With school getting back into gear, student’s finding themselves in legal trouble is inevitable. We see it every year. This is especially true around the beginning of the school year, when students are returning to campus and freshmen are leaving home for the first time. Every year, we see a spike in Minor in Possession, Public Intoxication, Driving Under the Influence, Drug Paraphernalia, Minor in Consumption, Driving While Intoxicated, and various other alcohol and drug charges.
For students, obviously the best plan of action is to avoid putting yourself in situations which could lead to these charges in the first place. But if you do find yourself facing criminal charges of ANY kind (even a Class C alcohol or drug charge can have severe effects on your record), it is important to remember a few things.
First, if you are approached by an officer and he begins to write you one of these tickets, or possibly even take you to jail, it is generally best to remain calm, polite, and keep your mouth shut. This will generally increase the chances of your attorney being able to get the offense handled in a way which won’t affect your permanent record, and sometimes get the offense reduced or dismissed altogether.
Second, if you find yourself in this situation, CONTACT AN ATTORNEY ASAP. I can’t tell you the number of times that we’ve spoken with a young person who just wanted to “get it over with” or take care of something on his or her own, and ultimately ends up with a record that can never be cleared. Very often (especially with Class C drug and alcohol offenses), your attorney can work out a deal where you will be able to get the charge legally EXPUNGED from your record if you simply go through the proper procedures. We would urge parents to let their children know that it is okay, and even encourage them to call you and an attorney should they get into legal trouble of any kind. Doing so can mean the difference between a drug or alcohol offense remaining on your child’s permanent record for the rest of his or her life, or simply paying a small fine and getting the record erased.
Third, it is extremely important for young people to be as cautious as possible when having ANYTHING to drink and then choosing to drive. Officers are trained to err on the side of caution, so it is very likely that a young person who has had only a couple of drinks will be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (a Class B or Class A misdemeanor, depending upon the level of intoxication) if the officer has reason to believe that they might be intoxicated. So even if the charges end up getting reduced or dismissed, the young person will still incur thousands of dollars in costs to handle the charge. Obviously, our advice to all young people is to avoid driving if you have had anything at all to drink. But If you should find yourself in a situation where you are being arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated, it is absolutely imperative that you contact a qualified DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Hiring the right attorney can mean the difference in a reduction or dismissal of the charge and a permanent record that will affect the rest of your life (both personally and professionally).
The bottom line is that we understand that everyone makes mistakes in life, and want to encourage young people in these types of situations to at least consult with legal counsel before making any decisions on their own. College can be an extremely exciting time in a person’s life, but it also tends to bring about entirely new settings, which can often lead to a person ending up in a situation where criminal charges may result. Should you or someone you care about end up in this kind of situation, make the smart choice and speak with a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Ross Law Offices, we offer a no-risk, free consultation to sit down with you and discuss your case in depth. We will discuss all possible outcomes, any legal defenses you may have, the possibility of clearing your permanent record, and clearly define our fees before you agree to anything. When we take on a client, it is a two-way relationship, and we want you to feel as comfortable in your decision as possible.
- John A. Ross, Jr. “Tony”
Remember, every case is different. The information provided herein is only general information, and should not be construed as specific legal advice of any kind. In addition, this information should not be construed as a substitution of legal counsel from a competent criminal defense attorney in your specific jurisdiction.
Please feel free to contact us if you have specific questions or comments about a case in which you are involved.
ROSS LAW OFFICES, PC