Experienced Criminal Defense for College & University Students in SC
Helping college students fight criminal charges in the Columbia & Charleston area
College and university students can face lifelong consequences for just one error in judgement. While some people think that a first offense may be a minor issue that’s easily dealt with, a criminal conviction on your record – no matter what kind – can limit your education and professional opportunities for years to come. If you, or your son or daughter, are facing criminal charges, it’s crucial to have an experienced defense attorney on your side.
Once you’re old enough to attend college, you’re typically a legal adult and have aged out of the juvenile justice system. This means you’re subject to the rules and penalties of the state criminal justice system, and a potential criminal record. And, you may face a second layer of consequences impacting your education and future – college disciplinary proceedings. Criminal charges almost always result in referral to the university's Office of Student Conduct or similar college board for possible suspension or even expulsion.
At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. in Columbia, we offer professional criminal defense services for college students across the state. We understand how to address the many collateral consequences involved in these cases. Our attorney, a former prosecutor, will apply a wealth of legal insight and more than 25 years of experience to identify a multipronged strategy for your situation.
“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.” - Attorney Hough
Common charges against college students
South Carolina is home to a host of large and prestigious colleges and universities. Just a small sampling of these include:
Unfortunately, college students are vulnerable to being charged with a wide variety of offenses, often due to simple mistakes of living on their own for the first time, or by giving in to peer pressure. Some of the more common cases we see in our Columbia and Charleston offices include:
Attorney Hough’s years of experience with criminal defense helps you understand the criminal justice process, acting as your advocate and protecting your rights both on and off campus. We work with you to ensure your freedom and reputation remain secure.
I’m in college and got arrested. What might happen to me?
Unfortunately, if you’re arrested and charged with a crime while enrolled as a college student, you can face both penalties from local or state courts as well as additional penalties from your college or university, including:
- Academic discipline or probation
- Suspension or expulsion
- Loss of scholarship or financial aid
- Loss of on-campus housing privileges
Additionally, with any criminal conviction comes collateral consequences. These are the secondary consequences – the effects of a conviction that come after you serve the terms of your sentence. Collateral consequences can include the loss of the right to own a firearm, the inability to obtain a professional license, registry as a sex offender, immigration consequences, and loss of federal housing. Your conviction will also show up on any background check, limiting your employment opportunities.
As a college student, you should be spending time in class and not in court. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, let The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. in Columbia help. Don’t forfeit your academic and personal future – we work to develop a strong defense with the goal of minimizing your charges or having them dropped altogether.
Can I avoid jail with a diversion program?
A great deal of charges and arrests against college students are related to alcohol or drugs. In many of these cases, you may be eligible for a diversion program, also called pre-trial intervention (PTI). Participation in PTI allows students to enter alcohol or drug education programs, typically through a recovery center. PTI programs often allow a student to avoid spending time in jail – and, in some situations, can result in having your record expunged.
Attorney Hough can consult with you to determine if this might be a good option for your case. Students facing criminal charges like minor traffic violations or other non-violent offenses may also be eligible for diversion programs.
My college student was arrested in SC. I need legal advice.
As a parent, finding out that your adult child has been charged with a crime — and that his or her education, career prospects, and future are in jeopardy — is not easy. The situation is especially difficult if you live out of state. You may feel like your child is a stranger in a strange land, with nobody to stick up for him or her. Finding local legal representation is essential for giving your child every advantage.
We routinely work with out-of-state and long-distance parents. Our attorney, A. Randolph "Randy" Hough, was born and raised in South Carolina. He graduated with honors from The Citadel and earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Randy is deeply entrenched in the local legal community. He understands the culture.
As a former state and federal prosecutor in South Carolina, as well as a local to this area of South Carolina, Randy has handled thousands of criminal cases. He is well-respected and well-known among prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement. A parent himself, he knows how difficult it can be to protect your son or daughter's interests from afar. He will step in and fill that role, working with you and on your behalf to strive for a positive resolution.
We care about your college student's future as much as you do. Obtain peace of mind knowing an experienced defense lawyer is fighting for your son or daughter.
Smart, local criminal defense for college students in SC
If you’re a student or the parent of a student facing criminal charges, you need dedicated and aggressive legal defense. No matter what you were arrested for, your freedom and your future may be hanging in the balance. The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. ensures you are never alone during the criminal justice process and works to protect your academic and your personal reputation. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Columbia or Charleston, please call 803-771-4119 or fill out our contact form.