If you’re enrolled at East Carolina University and have been charged with an underage drinking offense, chances are the institution will have its own disciplinary measures in addition to legal penalties. At The Fitzpatrick Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced in defending you in both arenas. Underage drinking is the most common violation for students who attend or visit East Carolina University. Other common alcohol related charges college students may face include misrepresentation of age, being intoxicated and disruptive, and providing alcohol to a minor. In North Carolina, it is illegal to be intoxicated in public, to drink an alcoholic beverage in public, or possess an open container, and thus these statutes also carry over to university codes of conduct. On college and university campuses, a student can face more violations for bringing alcohol into alcohol-free zones such as dorms (regardless of whether you are of the legal drinking age) or you have alcohol paraphernalia in your dorm room, such as a beer pong table. Common source containers, such as kegs or boxed wine, may be banned or restricted on campus as well. Make sure you read and understand your school’s alcohol policy regarding age and location before bringing alcohol on campus; violations of these outlines can lead to a student code of conduct disciplinary hearing. Any act that violates North Carolina law is also considered a violation of the student code of conduct. Since underage drinking is considered a criminal offense, schools also reserve the right to hold a disciplinary hearing. If you are facing not only criminal charges but also a university disciplinary hearing, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer who represents students in both East Carolina University honor code violations and criminal court to ensure the protection of both your rights and education.
A conviction for drug charges may hurt your employment prospects, adversely affect future security exchanges and background checks and result in suspension or expulsion from your university. If you are accused of a drug charge you need to protect your education and future employment by immediately contacting and hiring a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending college students against drug possession charges. Assault Assault is primarily investigated and charged by state or local law enforcement. If the assault occurs on-campus, university police will likely also participate in the investigation. Early and quick contacting of witnesses is often crucial to an assault defense. Our clients benefit not only from our criminal defense lawyer’s investigatory experience but also from our skilled use of seasoned former-law enforcement investigators to help prepare a strong defense case for college students charged with assault. Sexual Assaults If you are accused of a campus sexual assault then you may face not only conduct code violation charges but also Title IX violation charges and criminal prosecution. Many college students and defense lawyers do not realize campus sexual assaults may lead to separate charges for conduct code violations, Title IX violations, and criminal charges involving possible jail time. You need a campus sexual assault defense attorney who is experienced in not only college student defense but also experienced in university Title IX procedures and criminal prosecutions.