Defending the Future of a College Student
A new investigation by Outside the Lines is giving the Florida Gators a title they may not want. As reported by ESPN, the study found that more University of Florida athletes have been named as criminal suspects than the athletes from nine other major football and basketball college programs. A reported 24% of the school’s sports roster was accused in a criminal matter between 2009 and 2014. These statistics exemplify the importance of securing excellent representation for college-aged defendants. These students have the rest of their lives to live and their futures should not be completely derailed due to the immature actions that sometimes accompany youth.
According to reports, Outside the Lines requested campus and local police reports involving any athletes from the following schools:
- University of Florida;
- Michigan State;
- Notre Dame;
- Florida State;
- Oklahoma State;
- Texas A&M;
- Oregon State; and
While the provided information varied, the reports showed the number of athletes involved in investigations compared to the number of official charges filed and the rate of prosecution. According to the report, only 50% of the University of Florida cases ended with prosecution. At Florida State, which came in second on the ranking of athlete suspects, only 30% of the cases reportedly proceeded to prosecution.
Why Cases Aren’t Prosecuted
Outside the Lines concluded that the lack of prosecution resulted from several factors, including:
- preferential treatment by law enforcement;
- preferential treatment by prosecution;
- witnesses who are too intimidated to testify against high profile athletes; and
- athletic department officials who participate in the investigation process.
It is important to note that the most influential factor, as noted in the article, was access to an lawyer very early in the investigation. Some athletic departments reportedly keep lawyers on retainer for the sole purpose of advocating for athletes.
The reported number of cases that resolved without prosecution speaks to the importance of securing legal representation for any college student facing criminal allegations, whether they are athletes or not. Though college students are taking the positive step of furthering their education and preparing for the future, they are also surrounded by influences and circumstances that can lead to poor decision making. Alcohol-related offenses are the most commonly charged, including public drunkenness, underage drinking and driving under the influence. Disorderly conduct and assault crimes are also common among this age group, brought on by drunken fights or unwanted sexual advances. Many college students also face drug-related charges, like possession or paraphernalia violations.
With an experienced lawyer, any college student can successfully defend these criminal allegations or prevent prosecutors from filing official charges. A criminal conviction can derail educational opportunities and even keep college students from ever reaching their goals and aspirations.
Our Miami lawyers can provide you with a solid defense if you are currently facing charges in Miami. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.