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Iowa City Attorneys Defending University And College Students Charged With Crimes

If you – a college student – or your son or daughter who is a student at the University of Iowa (UI), Kirkwood Community College (KCC) or another college in the Iowa City area has been charged with a crime, rest assured that reliable help is available right here in Iowa City. You do not have to turn to a law firm in Des Moines or elsewhere for the sophisticated representation you need at this critical time.

Since 1968, Johnston, Stannard, Klesner, Burbidge & Fitzgerald, P.L.C., has established a strong reputation among the UI community as well as the student bodies at KCC and other institutions of higher learning in the region. Even after graduation, many alumni have discovered that our firm is well-suited to serve as a trustworthy legal resource for life.

Our Attorneys Defend College Students Accused Of Criminal Offenses

Skilled litigators at our firm provide customized criminal defense for college students accused of crimes such as:

Potential clients who inquire with our lawyers are often parents from out of state and statewide in Iowa whose children are college students in Iowa City or nearby. Sometimes those accused of crimes are student-athletes and collegiate leaders who have much to lose with a conviction. We fully understand how a criminal record can jeopardize a student’s academic status and future prospects. Our defense strategies are aggressive and personalized.

Will You Lose Your Financial Aid?

Incarcerated people are not eligible to receive federal student loans. Still, they may qualify for some grants if enrolled in a prison education program approved by Federal Student Aid (FSA). They could also be eligible for a Federal Work-Study program. 

In most cases, people become eligible to receive federal student loans again once released from prison, even if they were convicted of a felony or are on probation or parole.

Drug convictions do not affect eligibility for federal financial aid. Being convicted of sexual offenses also does not disqualify students from receiving a Federal Pell Grant. 

Will You Have A Criminal Record Now?

If you are convicted of a crime in Iowa, it could remain on your record for years – potentially forever. A criminal record can limit your education, employment, and housing opportunities. You could lose your gun rights and the right to vote. It can also damage your reputation. 

That’s why seeking help from a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney is so crucial if you’re charged with a crime in college. We help young people explore options that mitigate the damage their criminal issues have on their lives and fight hard to defend them from the penalties of a criminal conviction. If escaping conviction isn’t possible, we can help seal criminal records through expungement.

If The Offense Happened Off Campus, Will You Face Consequences At School?

It doesn’t matter if the offense happened on or off campus; you could face disciplinary action at school. You could be suspended, expelled, not allowed to participate in student organizations, barred from campus housing and more. We suggest reviewing your institution’s policies to determine how a criminal issue could affect your life on campus.

What Penalties Will I Face At The University Of Iowa?

At the University of Iowa, students are expected to adhere to a certain standard of behavior. If you are suspected of violating those standards through criminal activity, you will likely receive a letter from the Office of Student Accountability, informing you that an investigation has started. UI students who violate the Code of Student Life or other policies can expect consequences that can affect their academic futures.

Whether you or your child faces charges for underage drinking, public intoxication, possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a fake ID, OWI or disorderly conduct, you could receive, at best, a written warning or disciplinary probation that could lead to more serious penalties after a subsequent slip-up. However, stiffer punishments include:

  • Suspension, with conditions placed on your return and the possibility of a required reapplication
  • Expulsion, which means permanent separation from the University
  • Alcohol and/or drug education programs, at personal cost
  • Denial of privileges, including involvement in campus activities and certain academic programs
  • Housing transfers or prohibitions from all student housing accommodations

UI students may also face fines, restitution and other potential penalties. Plus, the outcome of the hearing will be reflected on transcripts, which can complicate enrollment in another institution of higher education.

It’s important to remember that the outcomes of hearings in front of the Office of Student Accountability are not predetermined, but this is not something you want to navigate alone. The sooner you get experienced legal representation, the faster your defense strategy can be formed. We can help you achieve a favorable outcome both inside and outside of the university.

What Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Offer University And College Students

We are known as knowledgeable, caring and professional. We offer tangible solutions for students facing common life challenges such as false accusations of sexual assault. Our solid credentials and extensive experience are reasons to take advantage of our free initial consultations. We will represent you in any court as well as before university administrators when advocacy of this type is necessary.

Talk To A College Crimes Lawyer Today

To schedule your initial meeting with one of our defense lawyers who serve college students and others in town, call 319-359-6492 or send an email inquiry.

Notable Cases

Cedar County AGCR024516 — PLEA OFFER ACCEPTED — Attorney Shawn Fitzgerald’s client was accused of the crime of Operating a Motor Vehicle While License is Barred as a Habitual Offender §321.560/ §321.561/ §321.555 /§321.556 (An Aggravated Misdemeanor), as well as Failure to Use Child Restraint Devise §321.446 (A Scheduled Violation). Attorney Shawn Fitzgerald was able to secure a plea offer satisfactory to both client and state.

Notable Cases

Muscatine County AGCR057733 — PLEA ACCEPTED, CHARGE REDUCED — Attorney Shawn Fitzgerald’s client was accused of Domestic Abuse Assault §708.2A(2)(b) (A Serious Misdemeanor). An initial plea offer stated the client would have to plead guilty as charged, attorney Shawn Fitzgerald worked for a better offer for his client. The client was able to plead guilty to an amended lesser charge of Disorderly Conduct §723.4(2) (A Simple Misdemeanor).