College Campus Crime Lawyers in Columbus
Experienced representation for Ohio students charged with criminal offenses
Students at Ohio State University, Columbus State Community College, and other Columbus colleges will be arrested if they violate any Ohio laws. In addition to facing criminal charges in the county courts, they will likely face disciplinary action from their university. A criminal conviction can mean incarceration, heavy fines, possible expulsion, loss of a job, and loss of financial assistance. Other schools will likely know about the student’s criminal and disciplinary record if a student considers transferring.
At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our Columbus criminal defense lawyers help students facing charges. We work to have any charges dismissed and to obtain acquittals. We work with the prosecution and school officials to reduce the charges to less serious offenses or to enroll the student in a diversionary program – so the student will be able to continue his/her schooling. We explain how the criminal process works for in-state students and out-of-state students.
How can we help?
- Which Columbus college students do you represent?
- What types of campus crimes do you handle in Columbus?
- What defenses do you assert on behalf of students in Columbus?
- What are the penalties for campus crimes in Ohio?
- Do I need a Columbus defense attorney if my child in college is charged with a crime?
- Do you have a campus crimes lawyer near me?
Soroka & Associates represents undergraduate and graduate students at colleges, universities, and trade schools throughout Central Ohio, including those at:
- Columbus State Community College
- Ohio State University
- Capital University
- Ohio Dominican University
- Otterbein University
- Franklin University
- Columbus College of Art and Design
- Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Our team is prepared to assist you whether you live in campus housing or off-campus. If you are a resident of another state, but attend college in Columbus, we can help you, too.
Our Columbus campus crimes lawyers handle any type of criminal charge. Students at the local colleges and adult schools can be charged with any type of crime from traffic offenses and misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. Common campus crimes include:
- The use of fake identifications (IDs)
- Sex crimes, including sexual assault and rape
- Theft and shoplifting
- Vandalism and other property crimes
- Operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI)
- Possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia
Campus offenses that may not result in state charges include dorm room violations, plagiarism, violation of school codes, and other offenses.
Our attorneys assert all the defenses that adults have unless the student is a minor. Students under 18 are normally charged and processed through the Ohio county juvenile system.
Common defenses include asserting a student’s Constitutional rights including the right not to give testimony against oneself, the right to question the witnesses against the student, and the right to demand that searches be conducted based on proper grounds or subject to a warrant. In criminal cases, the government has the duty to prove its charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Other legal defenses may apply, such as that breath tests for drunk driving must be given according to proper procedure.
Students can provide factual defenses, such as that another student was in possession of any drugs and many other defenses - depending on the offense and what happened.
As for any complaints filed by the college against a student, the college or school must comply with its own internal policy rules and procedures.
For each crime that can be charged, the legislation should identify whether the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor – and the degree of the offense such as a felony of the third degree or a misdemeanor of the first degree. Some offenses such as speeding are generally not felonies nor misdemeanors – provided nobody was injured. Offenses like speeding can result in fines, a suspension of the student’s license, and other consequences.
The classification for misdemeanor crimes (most students who break the law are charged with misdemeanors) are:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor: Up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
- Minor misdemeanor: NO prison time. A maximum fine of $150.
Additional penalties may apply for subsequent offenses such as multiple OVIs. Some repeat misdemeanor charges may result in a felony charge. Some sentences are mandatory. Some sentences give the criminal court judge discretion.
At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus campus crimes lawyers work to obtain a dismissal of the charges. If the case can’t be dismissed, we seek to have the student placed in a community program, a halfway house, or a treatment center instead of being incarcerated. We also request that a judge permit a student to attend school during the day and be subject to community controls or to incarceration at night and on the weekends.
If the offense is a first-time offense and a nonviolent offense, a student may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. In a diversion program, the student must comply with certain conditions such as drug testing. On completion of the program, the charges are dismissed.
Ohio does provide that defendants who are convicted of a misdemeanor can seek to have their criminal record “sealed,” one year after they’ve completed their sentence and paid any court-ordered fines, costs, and restitution. A “sealed” record means that the public, such as an employer or property owner, can’t see the record of the misdemeanor. A sealed record is different from an expungement.
The Columbus office of Soroka & Associates is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re close to I-71 and Rt. 23. Our Columbus campus crime lawyers meet clients away in prisons, detention centers, and other locations away from our office when necessary.
Speak with an experienced Columbus campus crime lawyer today
If you are charged with a crime and you are a student – your freedom is at stake, your reputation is at stake, and your right to attend school is at stake. At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus criminal defense lawyers understand the unique issues involved with campus crime offenses. We balance the need to assert adult defenses with the recognition that students are just starting their lives – and the focus should be on personal education as well as a collegiate education. To discuss your rights or the rights of your college student call us at 614-358-6525 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.