While criminal penalties, such as fines and license suspension, are serious and need to be addressed, another significant concern for any sort of alcohol violation for a minor is the criminal record. Police officers are beginning to crack down heavily on underage drinkers in downtown Charleston and on college campuses throughout the area for underage drinking, open container, fake ID and related charges.
Attorneys for College Students
Police officers may advise a college student who is arrested on one of these charges to pay the fine – even at half of the charge – and “finish the matter”. By doing this, however, the arrest and the conviction will be on the person’s criminal record which can impact financial aid and future opportunities for education and employment. At McCoy & Stokes our attorneys will advise you on your rights and what steps should be taken after an arrest.
School Expulsion/Suspension Defense Lawyers
It may seem easy to simply pay $250 for a fine, instead of going through a long criminal process, especially if that is what the police officer is offering for you to do. Unfortunately, without being aware of your rights, that decision can create a criminal record that is not eligible to be expunged for three years. Schools like the Citadel, the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern can find out when a student has been arrested – sometimes before the parents know – and will often institute their own disciplinary action.
Some of violations can be grounds for expulsion. Others may result in a loss of playing time on a sports team and/or a loss of sports and academic scholarships. These consequences are as serious as they get for students who are trying to get a solid education and begin a career. Protect your rights, or the rights of your child, by speaking with an experienced attorney.
For any student who has been arrested and is facing the penalties that come along with an arrest or conviction, the prospect of suspension or expulsion from school is as serious as it gets. The Citadel, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University and other surrounding institutions of higher learning take criminal offenses seriously and will often bring additional consequences that go beyond the criminal penalties.
At McCoy & Stokes, LLC, our attorneys often receive calls from students and from parents who are concerned about the criminal process and what will happen down the line. Suspension or expulsion from school is not only expensive, it can have a tremendous impact on future opportunities for higher education and employment.
College Student Criminal Defense Lawyers
Offenses that may result in suspension or expulsion for students in include:
- Drug possession or distribution
- Underage drinking
- Open container charges
- Drinking and driving
- Disorderly conduct
- Sex crimes
Attorney Peter McCoy will work hard to fight your charge, keep it off your record and prevent it from impacting your status as a student. We can also represent students who live out of state but have pending charges in South Carolina.
Please contact McCoy & Stokes, LLC at (843) 628-2855 to schedule your consultation with experienced Charleston family lawyers.