Fulton County Student Defense Lawyer

High school and college students go through many changes on their way to adulthood. Sometimes a lapse in judgment finds them in trouble with their school or with the police. However, everyone makes mistakes when they’re young, and no young person should have to suffer the repercussions of their mistake for the rest of their life.

If your child is accused of a disciplinary infraction at school, or of a criminal offense, you should contact a Fulton County student defense lawyer for help resolving the charges. One of our experienced attorneys at Hawkins Spizman will take the time to speak with you about your case and help determine ways that could result in a favorable outcome.

Fulton County Student Code of Conduct and Discipline

Fulton County Schools offers its Student Code of Conduct & Discipline Handbook online in a downloadable format. All parents and children over 10-years-old must sign an acknowledgment form. The booklet is also available at each school’s main office.

Fulton County students who are charged with disciplinary infractions and are suspended or expelled have a legal right to know why. If the suspension is for more than 10 days, or if the student is expelled, they also have the right to a formal hearing. Students’ legal rights at these hearings include:

  • The right to legal representation by a Georgia criminal defense attorney
  • The right to produce evidence in defense of their case
  • The right to subpoena school system witnesses, such as teachers, who will be required to attend the hearing
  • The right to appeal the decision made by the hearing’s tribunal to the county school board

A parent whose student is facing a formal hearing should contact a student defense attorney as soon as possible so a plan of defense can be formulated.

College Infractions

Many students live on their own for the first time when they go away to college and immerse themselves in campus life. This new freedom can sometimes lead to bad decisions, the most common being the over-consumption of alcohol. Colleges also have codes of conduct that promote moral and legal behavior. If a college student defies the system and commits a criminal act, such as underage drinking or driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, not only will the campus police become involved, but the local police or sheriff’s department can become involved.

Alcohol-Related Infractions

If students under age 21 are charged with alcohol-related offenses, special criminal charges can be filed. For instance, drivers over 21 can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol level is at least 0.08 percent. Drivers under 21 can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol level is just 0.02 percent. A DUI conviction for an underaged driver will also lead to an automatic six-month license suspension. A judge may also levy fines and mandatory alcohol counseling. Depending on the circumstances and number of offenses, jail time is possible. A defense attorney in Fulton County familiar with student crimes can assess the charges each student faces and chart a defense course.

Repercussions at School

Students faced with disciplinary or criminal convictions also suffer the consequences of their colleges and universities. Where criminal charges need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in the court system, schools are not bound to that high standard if a student is accused of violating the school code. Even an accusation but no conviction for criminal activity can have consequences. Investigatory panels may limit students’ extracurricular activities, suspend them, or deny them on-campus housing.

Student Academic Records

Students’ academic records follow them from school to school. Most colleges and universities will ask about and assess disciplinary actions before admitting high school or transfer students. Colleges also inquire about criminal convictions a student may have on their record and can use their discretion to reject students with a criminal record. The inability to finish one’s education severely impacts a student’s future employment and housing choices.

You Should Contact a Fulton County Student Defense Lawyer

You may think about putting off mounting any defense for your student’s high school or college code infractions or teen crime because you may not realize how these indiscretions can weigh on a student’s future. The sooner you contact a skilled Fulton County student defense lawyer, the sooner you can put the problem behind you and your child. Call today for a free consultation.