Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney Reminds Students: Late-Summer Arrests Can Have Long-Lasting Consequences

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David Coolidge, founder of The Coolidge Law Firm, cautions young adults that DWIs, drug offenses and other charges can lead to punishment by a court and their school.

Raleigh DWI lawyer, Wake County student crimes attorney

Raleigh DWI lawyer David Coolidge

High school upperclassmen and college students need to remember that they are not juveniles any longer in the eyes of the law.

With area high school and college students returning to school in the coming weeks, Raleigh criminal defense lawyer David Coolidge reminded students to avoid bad decisions that could lead to legal and school troubles.

“The last party or get-together of the summer can become a long-lasting mistake if it includes activities that lead to criminal charges like DWI, under-age alcohol use or drug use charges,” said Coolidge, a veteran Raleigh DWI lawyer and founder of The Coolidge Law Firm in Raleigh.

“High school upperclassmen and college students need to remember that they are not juveniles any longer in the eyes of the law,” Coolidge said. “Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense like drunk driving will go on students’ records if they are 16 or older.”

Coolidge’s Wake County criminal defense law firm offers an extensive misdemeanor and felony criminal defense practice. Attorneys at The Coolidge Law Firm devote a significant portion of the firm’s legal practice to student crimes in the Raleigh-Durham area. The firm can provide students with a card to carry that will help them to invoke their legal rights if arrested.

Wake County Public Schools welcome traditional-calendar students on August 27 for the 2012-2013 school year. Several Triangle area colleges, including N.C. State University, Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Duke University and N.C. Central University in Durham, begin their fall semesters for students the week of August 20.

If they are convicted of a crime, students are subject to disciplinary action by their schools in addition to the criminal penalties they face, Coolidge said. Financial aid can also be withdrawn after a criminal conviction, he said.

“Schools can suspend or expel students who are convicted of crimes, which is not only expensive but can be a devastating setback in a young adult’s life,” Coolidge said.

Coolidge said some student crimes are simply a mistake or a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless of the circumstances, a student who has received a citation or been arrested should do everything possible to avoid a criminal conviction.

College students, in particular, will be treated like adults if arrested, the veteran attorney said. Their first phone call should be to an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

“A student who has been arrested should ask for a lawyer at their first opportunity and, in the meantime, decline to answer questions from the police until their defense attorney is present,” Coolidge said.

“A criminal defense lawyer protects the rights of those who have been arrested,” Coolidge said. “An attorney can help a student avoid being convicted or, if conviction is unavoidable, ensure that the punishment is as lenient as possible.

“A student should never, ever face criminal charges without an attorney,” he said.

About The Coolidge Law Firm

The Raleigh criminal defense attorneys of The Coolidge Law Firm provide skilled, experienced and aggressive legal representation to those throughout Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Knightdale and other communities in Wake County and its surrounding area who have been charged with felonies, misdemeanors and traffic offenses. The firm’s practice areas include DUI / DWI, traffic violations, drug possession, sex crimes, student crimes, theft, robbery, violent crimes, domestic violence and probation and parole violations. The firm also represents those in criminal matters involving habitual felon status, motions for appropriate relief (MAR) and expungment. To learn more about The Coolidge Law Firm, call (919) 239-8448 any time of day, any day of the week or use the firm’s online form.

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