There are 61 colleges and universities in the State of South Carolina, and each year these institutions add thousands of new students to their respective enrollment numbers. Although most of their students are at least 18 years old upon entry and are effectively considered adults, there is a lot to learn when you are out on your own for the first time.
Unfortunately, that can include seemingly small oversights that can end in misdemeanor criminal charges that can remain on their criminal record that appears on a background check going forward.
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys in Fort Mill and Greenville Counties often receive calls from both college students facing criminal misdemeanor charges and their parents who are worried about the consequences and how the accusations may affect not just their education, but their personal and professional lives going forward.
To follow are some of the more common charges our college-age clients face and what the criminal process may look like while navigating the justice system.
What Are the Most Common Offenses College Students Face in South Carolina?
Our Fort Mill criminal defense lawyer knows that no matter how well our South Carolina kids are raised, and no matter how intelligent they are, or how promising their futures may be, college life is full of opportunities to explore their independence and meet new sets of friends.
Often, that means becoming exposed to parties where drugs, alcohol, or both are present.
Some of the most common alcohol-related charges for college students may include, but are not limited to:
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Public Intoxication
- Using a False ID
Along with alcohol-related offenses, many of our college students may be charged with marijuana-related offenses, including:
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Paraphernalia
Whether the college student is facing the charges alone, or if they have enlisted their parents’ help in countering the charges, the sooner our Greenville and Fort Mill criminal defense attorney can step in and evaluate their charges from a legal standpoint, the quicker we can provide the advice they need to understand the consequences of their unique charges.
What Are the Possible Outcomes for Criminal Misdemeanor Charges in South Carolina?
Criminal charges can impact the student’s enrollment eligibility at the school, access to scholarships and student loans, and future job and career opportunities.
All criminal charges are unique, and the outcome and the severity of consequences will reflect the student’s criminal history.
When college students are facing criminal misdemeanor charges, and have no prior criminal history the possible outcomes may be:
- Criminal Diversion: Criminal diversion may include behavior modification classes, community service, and court fees. Once completed, charges are dismissed.
- Conditional Discharge: Criminal discharge is nearly the same as a criminal diversion program, but is overseen by the court, instead of the solicitor’s office.
If a student does not qualify for either of these alternatives, our Fort Mill criminal defense attorneys may resolve the matter by negotiating an agreement with the solicitor’s office or fighting for our clients’ inside the courtroom.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony on a college campus in South Carolina, contact our criminal defense lawyers in Fort Mill by calling (803) 548-2468 to schedule a free consultation today. We will fully explain the consequences of these charges, so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed through the legal process with our help.