Between 2000 and 2010 Georgia’s public colleges saw a dramatic increase in enrollment of more than 100,000 students. There are now more than 300,000 in-state and out-of-state students attending these public universities alone, and still more students attending Georgia’s many private institutions. Among the five schools with highest number of students, three are right here in the Atlanta area: Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Students face unique problems if arrested and accused of violating the law. Furthermore, college students find themselves uniquely and perfectly positioned to be in situations resulting in possible contact with law enforcement. From sporting events, to house parties, to enjoying Atlanta’s abundant nightlife, unfortunately it is all too easy for students to find themselves in trouble. I have helped students through the criminal process for over 21 years. If you or a loved one is in college and facing criminal charges, call me right now to discuss how I can start helping you.
Some of the most common offenses college students get arrested for are:
- Underage possession / consumption of alcohol
- Speeding and other traffic violations
- Misdemeanor marijuana possession
- Felony drug possession
- Disorderly conduct
- Assault and battery
I know the process
I have been representing college students who have been arrested for criminal offenses for over ten years. A large number of them are first time offenders. Many jurisdictions consider pre-trial intervention and diversion programs that they will offer for a variety of offenses as alternatives to prosecuting a student’s case. This is important because successful completion of these programs lead to the dismissal of charges and the possibility of cleaning criminal records.
Students under 21 years of age can face harsher penalties for certain offenses. For example, under 21 drivers suspected of DUI and other severe traffic violations, face more stern and less forgiving consequences than drivers over the age of 21. Whereas a per se DUI for drivers over 21 years old is driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of a 0.08, a per se DUI for drivers under 21 is 0.02. If you’re under 21 and convicted of a DUI, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months with no access to a limited driving permit. But if your BAC was 0.08 or higher, your license will be suspended for a year.
For other severe traffic offenses, the law is essentially designed to send a message to be more careful. If you’re under 21, convictions for the following offenses will result in an automatic license suspension for 6 months.
- Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.
- Fleeing a police officer.
- Reckless driving.
- Any 4 point offense.
- Unlawful passing of a school bus.
- Improper passing on a hill or curve.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more.
- Purchasing an alcoholic beverage.
- Aggressive Driving
- Illegally purchasing alcohol
I can remember a time when law enforcement wasn’t as vigilant and strict as they are today with college students. But I also know what it’s like to be a student in trouble; and I understand the concern parents feel when their child faces criminal charges. Call me now for a free consultation to discuss your options, possible defenses, and the best way to resolve your case.