When a student is accused of wrongdoing, the consequences can be far-reaching, even if the situation involves no actual criminal violations. In fact, many families in Brunswick County may be uncertain whether an attorney can provide assistance in a school disciplinary matter. But the short answer is that it is never a bad idea to consult a Brunswick County student defense lawyer to discuss your options.
When you review the situation with a criminal defense lawyer familiar with student defense cases, you could learn about how to protect the student’s rights and minimize the impact on future opportunities. Even if criminal charges have not been filed, a skilled defense attorney could provide invaluable assistance.
When most people in Brunswick County hear the term “defense lawyer,” they immediately think of defending someone accused of a crime in a criminal court proceeding. But a local student defense lawyer could assist in several different situations.
School disciplinary hearings may not seem as intimidating as a courtroom, but the results of a disciplinary hearing may impact a student’s life in the long term. At the same time, in these settings, students often do not receive the same protections of their rights that they would if appearing in criminal court.
They may also not have the same opportunities to present evidence or question witnesses. They often even lack the presumption of innocence that we so often take for granted. An experienced student defense attorney in Brunswick County should be prepared for these differences and can devise strategies to enable the student to properly defend against the allegations.
Just because the government has not made an arrest does not mean that the student will not be required to mount a defense in court. If someone feels that the student has committed wrongs that have caused them harm, they may file a claim in civil court seeking damages. For example, a person who is accused of causing a car accident may have a civil lawsuit filed against them.
Those defending against allegations in civil court are not required to work with an attorney, but it is advisable to do so. The burden of proof required to obtain a judgment is lower in civil court than in criminal court, so it is wise to work with an attorney who understands how to exploit weaknesses in a case.
Even if criminal charges have not yet been filed, it is still possible for charges to be brought in the future. But the best time to collect evidence to build a defense against the charges is right after the incident.
As time passes, it can become more difficult to locate witnesses, and evidence such as video may be damaged, destroyed or erased. Evidence collected to prepare a defense against criminal charges could also prove highly useful in defending a matter in civil court or school proceedings.
In a student defense matter, an attorney may fulfill two main useful functions. First, the defense lawyer serves as an advisor, explaining the ramifications of situations and helping to evaluate the options for proceeding. A legal counselor may also suggest actions to take to improve the outlook of the case, or how to avoid pitfalls that could cause further difficulties.
Second, an attorney also serves as an advocate, speaking on behalf of the student in different situations including negotiations, questioning, and during formal proceedings. Having an experienced Brunswick County lawyer can relieve a lot of anxiety in a student defense situation.
When a student has worked hard to achieve goals, it is wise to protect that investment of time and money. If allegations of wrongdoing are causing concern, you owe it to your family to consult a knowledgeable Brunswick County student defense lawyer to learn what you may expect and what options may be available to defend against the allegations.
A student’s future should not be left to chance. Call now to find out how a student defense lawyer could help in your particular situation.