My Nephew at Univ. Arkansas BP witnessed campus police harrassing a friend. He made a comment about campus cops acting like really police and was harrassed by the officers to a point where they became physically violent. They handcuffed him and arrested him for providing a public nuisance. There were several student witnesses to the event that are willing to write statements on the campas security abuse.I had to post bond for my nephew to release him before the weekend.I am in Chicago and his legal residence is in Chicago. What are our options?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Arkansas
This is my first attempt at getting advice.
Does your nephew want to contest the matter to trial?
He hasn't decided. He is still in the "It's not fair" mode. We really don't know just what we can do about the situation. Can you advise us of our options?
Was he charged with disorderly conduct?
Police may use a disorderly conduct charge to keep the peace when a person is behaving in a disruptive manner, but presents no serious public danger. Generally speaking, disorderly conduct is a very broad crime and is relatively easily proven.
Had he been drinking?
No. He was walking his girlfriend back to her dorm. He had previous problems last year with the same officers for marijuana. That resulting in his being placed on probation.
Is he still on probation?
Does he plan to hire a lawyer?
Depends on what's in his best interest as a student at the univerisity. Will this affect his being in school if uncontested?
That would be a school policy, but he should not receive any negative treatment for hiring a lawyer. Simply retaining counsel does not mean that he is "contesting" the charges, only that he is reviewing his options with a professional.
In fact, if the school were to punish him for hiring a lawyer or exercising his Constitutional rights, they would be subject to litigation.
I highly recommend hiring a lawyer. I cannot think of a situation where I would not advise someone accused of a crime to hire counsel. A lawyer can review the facts, determine if he case is "winable" at trial, and, if not, help him get the best deal possible.
Hiring a lawyer is not what this is about. This is about possible repercussions in this situation.
What are the possible outcomes for this situation?
I understand. I just wanted to encourage you to review your options with a local lawyer. As far as the possible outcomes, criminally, he is looking at a relatively small fine (under $500), a short probation, and community service. Jail time should not be a concern.
Do you know about possible reactions from UAPB about this?
As far as repressions from the school, that would depend on the school, but I've never seen anyone expelled for a disorderly conduct charge only. That said, if he's had other run-ins with the school, like the marijuana charge, his consequences may be more serious. In my experience, schools are hesitant to remove a student. They will likely provide him an opportunity for counseling or student intervention.
I'm not suggesting he necessarily needs it, but that is the route schools tend to go. If they offer him something short of expulsion, even if he thinks it is unwarranted, he should take it.
Thank you. This is what I was looking for.
Glad to help. Can I do anything else for you?
This is good. I'll press Accept for your advice. Thank you.
Good luck to you and your nephew.
Experienced in state and federal criminal litigation.
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