When students move away from home and attend college, the stress of the adjustment and the rigor of coursework can be overwhelming. But let’s face it, it may also be the first time they have lived away from home and sometimes that freedom can be intoxicating. “I understand. After all, I went to college, too!” Michelle says. “I enjoyed my college experience, but I know that things happen – mistakes occur – and even the best students can find themselves in hot water. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately can prevent lifelong consequences.”
Misdemeanor Clinic for College Students
If you or your child is arrested or receives a Notice to Appear, Michelle will take your call in the middle of the night, will immediately appear at the jail if necessary, arrange bail, and be prepared for what is called a First Appearance. She knows the steps to take after an arrest to protect your rights and will be at your side through the entire process.
“I have handled hundreds of cases for college students,” Michelle explains. “I will steer you and your family through the legal system, which can be a confusing place, especially when trying to handle the matter from another state. I will handle everything from start to finish, working with the local prosecutor to resolve the matter without the serious consequences of a conviction, if that option is available.”
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. Colleges take criminal offenses seriously and will often bring consequences that go beyond the criminal penalties imposed by the courts. Some violations can be grounds for automatic suspension or expulsion from school. Others may result in a loss of playing time on a sports team, a loss of athletic and academic scholarships, and/or lost financial aid – crippling consequences for students who are trying to get a solid education. Suspension or expulsion has a tremendous impact on future opportunities for higher education and employment. A criminal conviction will haunt you and your child for the rest of your lives, destroying a bright future in an instant. It is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney sensitive to the huge impact an arrest has on a college student.
As the mother of a college age daughter, Michelle has the sensitivity and compassion you need. She understands the anxiety of being away from your family during a trying time. She is prepared to receive calls from students and from parents who are concerned about the criminal process and what will happen down the line. With the permission of the student, she will be completely available to answer any questions from the family. Offenses that may result in suspension, expulsion from school and arrest for students include:
- Drug possession or distribution
- Underage drinking
- Open container charges
- Drinking and driving – DUI
- Disorderly conduct
- Sex crimes including date rape
- Bar fights, assaults, campus fights
- House party disturbances
Michelle will work hard to fight your charge, with the ultimate goal of resolving the case in a statutory manner to allow your arrest to be expunged or sealed, thereby keeping it off the record and preventing it from impacting student status. She is also capable of representing students who live in other states but have pending charges in Florida. Unfortunately, and quite often, students visiting Florida for Spring Break or other seasonal events are arrested.
Michelle will fight to ensure a promising future is not lost just because of a mistake made one night – whether it be a college party, visiting for Spring Break, or just a night out on the town. A conviction or even an arrest can mean the loss of career options, student loans, driver’s licenses, and apartment rentals. With skill, compassion, and legal acumen, Michelle will do everything possible to mitigate the problem and protect the bright future of her client.
Without a full awareness of your rights and a complete familiarity with the Criminal Courts, it is not wise to handle your case alone. If you or your college student was arrested, protect your rights or the rights of your child by calling the Misdemeanor Clinic today!