West Michigan Student Crimes Defense Attorney Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan

If you are a student accused of a crime, it is imperative you have a Big Rapids criminal  defense attorney who regularly practices in the courts Big Rapids and who you trust to do everything he/she can to avoid having a conviction on your record. There are very real consequences if you are convicted of a crime:

  • A conviction, depending on its severity, could jeopardize your enrollment. The consequences of a conviction can range from the university not imposing any additional sanctions to academic probation to dismissal.
  • A conviction during your college years in Big Rapids will follow you as you apply for jobs or graduate schools. For a mere $10 on the state of Michigan’s website, future employers and graduate schools can run a criminal history/background check and discover all too easily any convictions on your record. All other things being equal, who are they going to chose, the applicant with a conviction or the one without?
  • A conviction carries its own consequences e.g., jail, probation, fines and costs, counseling, community service, restitution.
  • A conviction often carries collateral consequences as well, e.g., driver’s license sanctions, restrictions on international travel, deportation/removal, registration/reporting requirements, termination from employment, to name a few.

So, before you decide to “just” plead guilty and “get it over with,” possibly because somebody told you that you won’t get any jail time or you don’t want your parents to know, take a step back and think about your future. Don’t just plead guilty. Contact the Big Rapids criminal defense attorneys at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law. Find out if there is something that can be done. Often times, there is. The police are not always as careful as they should be when dealing with college students and there are a number of “breaks” written into the laws for first-time or youthful offenders, which could keep your M.I.P., possession of marijuana, or a variety of other crimes off your permanent record, e.g., MIP deferral, .7411 (drug deferral), Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (H.Y.T.A.). Call now for a free consultation and ask about our student discount with a valid student I.D. at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Common Crimes in Big Rapids, Michigan, at Ferris State University

Minor in Possession of Alcohol (M.I.P) at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI

Not surprisingly, many college students drink in college. Back in the day, this was just a fact of college life and students typically weren’t prosecuted for underage drinking. But now days underage drinking is taken very seriously and, if you are charged and convicted, you will have a misdemeanor conviction on your record.

Even though you cannot be sent to jail for your first M.I.P. charge, you should not just plead guilty without speaking with an experienced Big Rapids defense lawyer first. The reason: the law also provides a break for first-time offenders that allows the Court to prevent a conviction from being entered on your record if you successfully complete the terms of probation. A second conviction for M.I.P. can land you in jail, however, and carries license sanctions from the Secretary of State.

Even if you don’t qualify for a deferred M.I.P., an Big Rapids attorney may be able to help by challenging the evidence in your M.I.P. case, the method in which it was gathered, or negotiating a better resolution with the prosecutor, as the police do not always follow the laws with respect to search and seizure or while gathering evidence to prove the crime in a court of law. Students at Ferris State University have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, just like any other citizen. If you are charged with an M.I.P., protect yourself by calling Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law at (231) 924-8700 or (616) 458-5500 for a free consultation.

Possession of Marijuana

If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance, i.e., marijuana, you should not just plead guilty without consulting with an Big Rapids attorney first. The same drug laws that make it a crime to possess marijuana also include a “break” for first-time offenders (M.C.L. 333.7411, commonly called a .7411) that provides you with an opportunity to keep a conviction off your permanent record, if you successfully complete a short-term of probation. Getting this break is not a given, however. It may require some advocacy from an attorney. Call (231) 924-8700 or (616) 458-5500 now for free consultation if you have been charged with possession of marijuana at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Medical Marijuana — Changes to Michigan laws and its constitution provide an exception to the drug laws for medical marijuana. While there are very specific requirements that must be met to use this as a defense, the law provides a very potent defense to criminal charges and situations you might find yourself in at Ferris State University.

Driver’s License Sanctions– If you are convicted of a drug offense in Michigan, the Court must suspend your driving privileges for at least 30 days and up to as much as 6 months. If you plead guilty to a drug offense, pursuant to .7411, however, you will not lose your driving privileges if you successfully complete probation because a conviction will never be entered on your record. Call now to speak with the Big Rapids lawyers at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law for more details on this important consequence of “just” pleading guilty to a drug charge in West Michigan.

Drunk Driving Charges| DUI, OWI, OUIL

Even though you may live on or within walking distance of the campus at Ferris State University, the drunk-driving laws are vigorously enforced by the campus police and other local law enforcement agencies, e.g., City of Big Rapids’ Department of Public Safety, the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department, and even the Michigan State Police. Because the City of Big Rapids is not very big, it may seems like there is a concentration of law enforcement in a relatively small area looking for drunk drivers. If you are going out, do not drink and drive.

If you are arrested, you should definitely consult with an Big Rapids DUI attorney before pleading guilty. The DUI attorneys at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law are focused almost exclusively on West Michigan criminal defense and drunk-driving. DUI charges are the most common offense we handle. In addition to being easy to talk to and compassionate, attorneys Springstead and Bartish are members of the National College of Drunk Driving Defense and possess the type of specialized knowledge required to vigorously challenge a West Michigan drunk driving prosecution. Call (231) 924-8700 or (616) 458-5500 for a free consultation and visit our drunk-driving page for more information.

Drunk/Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing the Peace/Noise Violations

The police on and around Ferris State University, i.e., the Ferris State University campus police and City of Big Rapids D.P.S., are constantly on patrol and ever-vigilant. Whether it’s a house party or frat party or small get together, the police will not hesitate to arrest, ticket, or charge you with disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, or even a noise ordinance violation if they think you or the party has gotten out of hand. Even though these charges seem innocuous enough on the surface, many are still misdemeanors and will leave a mark on your criminal history. It is possible, however, to avoid having a conviction on your record.

The law (the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act or H.Y.T.A.) provides a “break” for young people, under 21 years of age at the time of the offense, who successfully complete a short term of probation, that can removes such a conviction from your record. Getting the Court to give you this break is not a given, however. It may require some advocacy on your behalf.

Even if you don’t qualify for a H.Y.T.A., an attorney may be able to help by challenging the evidence in your case, the method in which it was gathered, or negotiating a better resolution with the prosecutor, as the police do not always follow the laws with respect to search and seizure or while gathering evidence to prove the crime in a court of law. Protect your record. Call the Big Rapids DUI defense attorneys at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law (231) 924-8700 or (616) 458-5500 for a free consultation if you are accused of a crime in Big Rapids, Michigan.