A Pittsburgh college student may need legal representation for a number of reasons. If a college student is facing criminal charges, there could be the threat of academic probation, loss of financial aid, loss of credits, and even expulsion. Any of these consequences will have life-long consequences on your career and future goals.
If you are a parent of a college student, it is a stressful time when in your life when your son or daughter is facing the possibility of a criminal conviction.
Legal Concerns Facing Pittsburgh College Students And Parents
When college students and their parents are in need of legal advice, our Pittsburgh criminal defense team at Worgul Law Firm is standing by to answer any questions at (412) 281-2146. Our attorneys are regularly contacted by college students and their parents attending around Pittsburgh if a college student is confronted with a simple alcohol offense, a fake ID arrest – or even a more serious charge.
While most students attending Pittsburgh colleges and universities are wanting to learn as much as they can to achieve their degree, for many students, this is their first time living away from own. It’s an exciting time, but when students run into unexpected criminal legal issues during their time on campus, serious consequences will occur. For example, a seemingly fun, innocent night could end in arrest.
Our criminal lawyers have successfully represented college students from a number of universities and colleges including the ones seen here:
|University of Pittsburgh
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania
|Carnegie Mellon University
|Robert Morris University
|Point Park University
|California University of Pennsylvania
|Slippery Rock University
|Penn State Great Allegheny
Occasionally, the charges you – or your son or daughter – may be facing can be very serious. Not only can a criminal conviction damage a university student’s future employment opportunities, it can prevent students from receiving student aid like scholarships and student loans.
If you are the parent of a college student, it is never easy facing a situation in which your son’s or daughter’s future hangs in the balance. It is important not only to resolve the criminal matter for your child as soon as possible, but by protecting them from short-term and lifelong consequences, you can help defend their future.
Pittsburgh College Campus Security and Local Law Enforcement
In the city of Pittsburgh, campus security typically has limited law enforcement authority beyond that of a regular citizen. However, they do have the authority to ask individuals for identification.
Campus security personnel will do their best to maintain a positive relationship with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Security at Pittsburgh universities and colleges are often given by campus security personnel 24/7.
Depending on the university or college, custom safety procedures and emergency plans will be designed after consulting with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Often times a member from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police will train campus security.
If a college student needs to report a crime, most colleges in Pittsburgh encourages that their campus security be contacted. Campus security personnel are available to assist in making reports to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
Common College Campus Criminal Offenses
According to FindTheBest, a technology company that analyzes the data of crime reports at U.S. colleges, the number of non-violent and violent criminal incidences occurring on college campuses have been increasing. In 2015, seven Pennsylvania colleges ranked as being the most dangerous colleges in the US. Those schools included Swarthmore College, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys have represented many college students. If you are a college student and have been charged with a crime, we have the experience and knowledge to provide you with the best chance to clear your record. Common college campus crimes could include:
- Burglary / Breaking and Entering — Burglary is a crime against property, and one of Pennsylvania’s most serious crimes. As a college student, if you are questioned by the police or arrested, it is critical that you hire a defense attorney as soon as you can. Burglary is a felony of the first degree and if you are found guilty you can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
- Destruction / Vandalism of Property — Damaging, destroying or defacing property that does not belong to you is considered vandalism or destruction or property. When you are in college, it’s easy to get caught up in silly pranks. However, if you are arrested for damaging another person’s property, what seemed like fun at the time can quickly turn into a serious situation.
- Disorderly Conduct — Disturbing the peace by making loud noises, making obscene gestures or possessing an open container of alcohol can be considered disorderly conduct. For example, someone who stands outside a college bar, shouting obscenities and shaking their fists at the passersby, can be found guilty of disorderly conduct.
- Drinking Underage (DUA) — If you are charged with underage drinking, the consequences can range from suspension of your driver’s license to a criminal record. The aftermath will have a negative impact for years to come. Buying, trying to buy, drinking or possessing alcohol when you are under 21 can result in swift and harsh penalties.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) — After you have been charged with a DUI, your lawyer will learn your side of what happened, review the evidence against you, and determine if any evidence is inadmissible. As you move through Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system on a DUI charge, it’s critical to have an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney by your side.
- Fake ID — If you are caught trying to buy a drink using false identification, the consequences can be terrible. Using false identification or another person’s identification to buy or try to buy alcohol when you are a minor could result in jail time and license suspension in Pennsylvania.
- Marijuana Crimes – When you are facing a marijuana charge as a college student, whether it’s for possession, cultivation, trafficking, or another related offense, hiring a lawyer is more likely to give you the outcome you want in this critical situation.
- Trespassing — Pennsylvania defines a defiant trespasser as someone who, knowing they are not licensed or privileged to do so, enters or remains in any place where they are given notice against trespass by communication, postings, fencing or other enclosures designed to keep out intruders. If you are questioned by the police or charged for criminal trespass, having an experienced attorney represented you can help you avoid serious penalties like jail time, expensive fines, and a permanent criminal record.
- Furnishing Alcohol to Minors — Letting minors have a party where beer or other alcoholic beverages are served can lead to you being charged with a crime that is punishable with a mandatory fine and, potentially, a jail term.
- Possession of Alcohol — Possessing any beverage that contains 0.50 percent of more alcohol by volume when you are under 21 is a criminal offense. If you are under 21, Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to possess alcohol, which is defined by the law as any beverage that contains 0.50 percent or more alcohol by volume.
- Simple Assault – Under Pennsylvania law, you don’t actually have to injure somebody else for a simple assault to take place. If you frighten someone into fearing that they are in imminent danger of being seriously injured by you, even if you don’t make contact with your fists or a weapon, you can still be charged.
- Sexual Assault — An accusation of sexual assault can devastate the life of anyone, especially a college student. Even if you are not convicted, it can be a depressing experience.
- Theft — Theft charges appear frequently in Pittsburgh-area courts. If you are a college student who has been arrested, you can draw consequences that range from fines, to having to pay restitution, to months or even years in jail. Having a criminal record because of a theft charge makes it especially hard for you to find a good job.
- Underage Drug Offenses — No matter what age you are, in Pennsylvania it is against the law to illegally possess or sell or intend to sell drugs. However, if you caught with drugs and you are a college student, you face difficulties that can lead to the loss of your federal student aid or even expulsion.
- Underage DUI — College students who are charged with driving under the influence find themselves in an especially difficult situation. Your driver’s license can be suspended, your insurance rates will increase dramatically and you will be burdened with a criminal record.
University and college students are more open to the risky behavior that leads to being charged with a criminal offense. At Worgul Law Firm, we understand that college students make mistakes, and we will act quickly to ensure that those mistakes don’t affect you after school.
Why Hire an Experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Team
As a Pittsburgh college student, it is never easy confronting a situation in which your academic life hangs in the balance, but you don’t have to go through the criminal process alone.
At Worgul Law Firm when dealing with college crimes, the Pittsburgh criminal defense team deals with simple offense charges from simple possession of alcohol or marijuana to more serious crimes like felony trespassing and resisting arrest. When taking into account these crimes, that student’s future and career must also be considered.
If you personally or your son or daughter is being charged with a crime, act quickly. The worst thing you can take is ignoring a written criminal citation or arriving to court unprepared.
The Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at Worgul Law Firm have extensive experience defending criminal charges facing college students. After careful investigation pending a free, initial consultation, our attorneys may succeed in reducing or removing a sentence entirely, or achieving a verdict in your favor.
Criminal Defense for Pittsburgh College Students
Having a criminal record due to a misdemeanor or felony conviction carries serious, life-altering consequences. Without proper legal representation, you may face a permanent conviction on your record. Any criminal conviction carries a lifetime of consequences. Because the stakes are so high, students should have the benefit of an attorney to ensure a court hearing is conducted fairly and by the rules. If you are a college student or are a concerned parent, the Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys at Worgul Law Firm may be able to provide the representation you need.