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Luzerne County College Student Lawyer

Luzerne County College Student LawyerLuzerne County College Student Lawyer

College Student Criminal Defense Attorney in Kingston, PA, Represent Students Against Charges for Drug Crimes, Violent Crimes, and Other Offenses in Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and Throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania courts take crimes on and around college campuses seriously. Those accused of college crimes won’t be excused just because they are college kids. Rather, as legal adults, such offenders could face life-changing consequences. You need a Luzerne County college student lawyer on your side to help you defend against serious criminal charges.

At Muckler Law, LLC, we represent our clients in criminal matters with the utmost empathy for what you’re going through. We understand that you never intended your life to take this path, and we will work tirelessly toward a more favorable outcome for you. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

College Student Criminal Defense in Luzerne County, PA, and Beyond

Suddenly, you’ve gone from cramming for exams to being in very real danger of serving a prison sentence. There are many ways college students can end up in legal trouble, but what’s even more important than how you got here is what step you take next. You need a defense attorney familiar with the nuances of all types of criminal charges under Pennsylvania law. An insider perspective from having served in a prosecutor role is also valuable.

Lead attorney and founder of Muckler Law, LLC, Matthew T. Muckler draws on his prior experience as Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney, as well as the insights gleaned from practicing criminal defense law for more than 15 years, to develop robust, custom-tailored defense strategies for college students facing criminal charges.

Areas Our Luzerne County College Student Lawyer Serves

Students charged with criminal conduct at colleges and universities across Northeastern Pennsylvania turn to Muckler Law, LLC, for skilled legal representation.

In Luzerne County, we assist students who attend or regularly visit institutions like the following:

  • Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Wilkes-Barre
  • King's College in Wilkes-Barre
  • Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre
  • McCann School of Business & Technology in Wilkes-Barre
  • Penn State Wilkes-Barre in Lehman Township
  • Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke
  • Penn State Hazleton in Hazleton
  • Misericordia University in Dallas

Our reach extends across the region. For example, in Columbia County, we assist students of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in Bloomsburg. Neighboring Lackawanna County is home to more than half a dozen colleges and universities where we can defend students against serious charges:

  • University of Scranton in Scranton
  • Marywood University in Scranton
  • Johnson College in Scranton
  • Lackawanna College in Scranton
  • Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton
  • Penn State Scranton in Dunmore
  • Clarks Summit University in Clarks Summit
  • Keystone College in La Plume

Whether the offense of which you’ve been accused occurred on campus or off campus, whether it’s a relatively minor offense that’s threatening to put a permanent mark on your record or a violation that could disrupt all of your future plans, the wise choice now is to retain a knowledgeable college student criminal defense attorney in Kingston, PA, to fight for you.

Types of Criminal Charges Our Luzerne County College Student Lawyer Can Defend Against

Factors like peer pressure, the new experience of having minimal adult supervision, and prevalent attitudes that downplay the severity of the consequences contribute to several types of crime that occur on and around college campuses. The following are examples of some of the types of charges a Luzerne County college student lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, can assist you with.

Drug and Alcohol Crimes

On and near college campuses, illegal possession of drugs and underage use of alcohol often give rise to criminal charges. Our attorneys represent clients accused of possession or use of drugs like the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • LSD (acid)
  • Ecstasy (molly)
  • “Magic” mushrooms
  • Prescription medications, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, and Adderall, for which you don’t have a valid prescription
  • Alcohol, if you are under the legal drinking age of 21

Charges involving drug distribution, including selling drugs, drug trafficking, and possession with the intent to distribute, are serious offenses. If anyone to whom you are accused of distributing drugs or alcohol is a minor, you could face even more serious penalties under PA law.

Violations related to drug crimes include underage drinking, the use of fake I.D. cards, public intoxication, and charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Sex Crimes

Crimes involving sexual conduct can take many forms on college campuses. Some offenses, like flashing (which can get you charged with indecent exposure), may seem like little more than pranks at the time but could give rise to serious consequences. College students may also be accused of rape and sexual assault, for which a conviction could send them to jail for years.

An attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of sex crimes under Pennsylvania law can help you understand what exactly you have been accused of and begin putting together the strongest possible defense for your situation.

Theft and Property Crimes on College Campuses

Criminal mischief in the form of vandalism is another offense that may seem harmless enough until you’re looking at the long-term consequences of a criminal record. College students are often charged with other types of property and theft crimes, such as the following:

  • Shoplifting (stealing from a retail store)
  • Burglary (entering a building to commit a crime)
  • Robbery (threatening or injuring someone in the course of taking their property)
  • Carjacking (taking a vehicle from someone in their presence)

Violent Crimes

Non-sexual violent crimes committed by college students encompass conduct like simple assault and more severe aggravated assault. If you are accused of unlawfully causing a person’s death, you might face criminal homicide charges, which include murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. Hate crimes might also constitute violent crimes and are taken especially seriously. Any crime that involves a weapon may be harshly punished.

Hazing

One crime that’s particularly relevant to college students is hazing. Under statute 18 Pa. C.S. Section 2802, hazing can constitute any intentional or reckless act of causing, coercing, or forcing someone to do one of the following acts for the purpose of initiating them into a group or organization:

  • Breaking the law (state or federal)
  • Enduring any kind of brutality, whether of a physical, mental, or sexual nature
  • Consuming any substance, including alcohol or drugs, that puts them at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm

Depending on the circumstances, hazing may be charged as a summary offense, a misdemeanor, or even, when the offense constitutes aggravated hazing, a felony.

College Crime Charges Levels and Sentences

Too many college students charged with crimes underestimate the severity of the situation. Most college students are 18 or older, and the charges against them are typically prosecuted in adult criminal court, not juvenile court. First-time offenders may face less harsh penalties than repeat offenders, but depending on the violation you are charged with, even one offense could be enough to send you to jail or impose steep fines.

The potential penalties you could face depend on what exactly you are charged with, as well as the degree of severity of the crime, whether you have prior offenses, and other factors. Criminal offenses in Pennsylvania are generally divided into the categories of felonies (the most serious), misdemeanors (less serious), and summary offenses (the least serious offenses in PA).

Sentences for Felony Offenses in Pennsylvania

If the charge you’re facing is a first-degree felony, you could be sentenced to a maximum prison term that exceeds 10 years (typically, 20 years, according to the Pennsylvania Code). Only murder charges carry heavier penalties, with a mandatory life sentence for second-degree murder and either a life sentence or the death penalty for first-degree murder.

For a second-degree murder charge, the maximum sentence is 10 years. A third-degree felony charge could send you to jail for up to seven years.

Felony convictions can also result in lofty fines: up to $25,000 for first-degree and second-degree felonies and up to $15,000 for third-degree felonies.

Penalties College Students Could Face for Misdemeanor Crimes

Misdemeanors aren’t as severe as felonies, but the impact these crimes could have on your future is still significant. If you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of a conviction, the severity of the charge against you, or the possible penalties, you should. That means retaining an experienced Luzerne County college student lawyer to fight for you.

For the most serious type of misdemeanor charge, first-degree, you could spend up to five years in prison and owe fines of up to $10,000. A second-degree misdemeanor still carries a potential penalty of up to two years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. For a third-degree misdemeanor conviction, Pennsylvania law allows for up to one year in prison and $2,000 in fines.

Below the least severe misdemeanor charge is another classification of crime, a summary offense. Summary offenses may be punished by up to 90 days in prison but don’t necessarily result in a prison sentence. If charged with a summary offense, you may be facing only a fine of, at most, $300.

Contact a Luzerne County College Student Lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, Today for a Free Consultation

When you’re a college student charged with a serious criminal offense, it can be difficult to even see a path forward. The consequences hanging over you could impact the rest of your life, and the legal process ahead is intimidating. With the help of a skilled college student defense lawyer, you can be prepared for what’s ahead and have a better chance of a more favorable outcome.

For help from a college student defense attorney in Kingston, PA, contact Muckler Law, LLC, online or call 570-908-4069 today.

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