There are numerous colleges and universities in and around St. Petersburg, and many young adults live in the city while they pursue their degrees. When students go off to college, they typically enjoy liberties they did not have when they lived with their parents. Unfortunately, while reveling in their newfound freedom, some college students make choices that result in police investigations, and ultimately, criminal charges. While college students are young, they are usually no longer minors, and if they are convicted of criminal offenses, it can damage their academic and professional prospects, as well as their reputation. A such, it is smart for any St. Petersburg student who is facing criminal charges to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The capable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys of Hanlon Law offer a variety of student legal services to parties accused of crimes in St. Petersburg and other cities throughout Florida, and if you or your child need assistance with a criminal matter, we can advise you of your rights and aid you in pursuit of a favorable result.Charges that May Require Student Legal Services
There are certain crimes that St. Petersburg college students are more likely to be accused of than others. For example, they are often charged with underage drinking, DUI, and drug offenses. College students also frequently find themselves in romantic situations, and a misinterpretation of signals can lead to accusations of rape or forcible sexual assault. Heated conversations or disagreements between college students often become physical as well, which can lead to assault charges. In some instances, a student may enter someone else’s home or borrow their property or vehicle without valid consent, resulting in burglary or theft accusations.Student Legal Services Available in St. Petersburg
College students charged with criminal offenses often fear that their academic careers are over and that they have ruined their chances of success in the future. Fortunately, though, there are numerous stages between when a criminal investigation begins and when a guilty verdict is ultimately rendered, and there are frequently numerous defenses available that can help avoid a conviction. Notably, criminal defendants are not required to prove their innocence, but in some cases, it may be wise for a person charged with a crime to assert an affirmative defense. Conversely, the prosecution in a criminal case faces a high burden of proof in that it must prove each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and if it cannot, the defendant should be found not guilty.
In many cases, a defendant can argue that certain evidence the prosecution intends to introduce against them should be precluded because of errors during the investigation process. For example, under the state and federal Constitutions, people have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, if the police conducted a search or arrested a student without a warrant or reasonable suspicion a crime was being committed, the search may violate the student’s Constitutional rights, and the evidence obtained during the search may be inadmissible. Similarly, if the police fail to advise a student of their Miranda rights during an interrogation or arrest, the prosecution may not be able to use any admissions or statements the student made against them. Numerous other defenses may be available as well; the precise arguments a student can assert in an attempt to avoid a conviction will vary depending on the facts of their case. As such, it is prudent for any St. Petersburg student charged with a crime to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.Consult an Experienced St. Petersburg Attorney Today
It is not uncommon for college students to find themselves in scenarios that result in criminal investigations and charges, placing them at risk for convictions that could irreparably alter their lives. If you or your child are a college student facing criminal charges in St. Petersburg, it is critical to consult a lawyer regarding your rights. The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Hanlon Law are proficient at providing student legal services to college students accused of crimes in St. Petersburg, and if we represent you, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. We have an office in St. Petersburg and additional offices in Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota, and Bradenton. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 727.289.0222 to set up a confidential and free consultation.