The news was tragic, but unfortunately, not as shocking as it should have been.
As a criminal defense lawyer who routinely handles the defense for those accused of so-called “college crimes,” I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff go down on college campuses in both Morgantown, as well as in Pittsburgh.
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the culture of alcohol on college campuses – a problem that has plagued West Virginia University in recent months, and one that prompted another institute of higher education to ban hard liquor on campus.
But the story I read today dealt with another problem that seems to rear its head all too often on college campuses, and in our society in general: Dating violence.
An 18-year-old student at Millersville University near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was found dead and covered in blood in her dorm room – and her boyfriend, a 19-year-old man who did not attend classes there – has been charged in connection to her death.
The man was reportedly charged with homicide, and was jailed after he was unable to post a $1.5 million bond.
Being an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, I can tell you that homicide, however, isn’t even in the same class as college crimes such as underage drinking, public drunkenness, and even DUI.
It’s not even close.
It’s a violent crime – the worst kind of felony. Since I have been a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer for quite some time, I have dealt with several such cases. So, I can tell you that it’s the kind of crime that, if convicted, can change a person’s life.
We don’t know if the relationship between this guy and his girl was rocky, or if he had a habit of getting violent with her. For all we know, he did, and when she tried to break it off, he beat her to death. But beating your girlfriend or boyfriend is never the answer. You may not end up like this guy, facing life in prison, but you will end up in trouble.
If the law enforcement officers provide substantial evidence to the prosecution, proving that you have deliberately caused harm to someone or violently threatened another person, you are likely to be charged with committing a violent crime. According to the law, you are allowed to use violent means only under narrow circumstances like when you are defending yourself. The authorities, in order to maintain the social order, impose harsh penalties and severe punishments on those who use such means of violence.
If anyone wants to mitigate the severe consequences of the convictions for violent crimes such as murder, homicide, or robbery, you have to hire the best legal defense team in Pennsylvania. Only a skilled and experienced Pittsburgh criminal lawyer will be able to refute such grave charges against you, protect your rights, interests, and reputation and secure your freedom effectively. In case, you have been charged with such offenses, you should never even attempt to talk your way out of such violent criminal charges because the authorities might and most likely will use the statements against you.
Sometimes you can suppress the evidence presented against you by proving that the police denied your rights of obtaining a lawyer. If they gather statements from you without informing you about your right to remain silent and request for a lawyer, they won’t be admissible at the trial, and they must immediately stop interrogating if you ask for a lawyer. But, as a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, it is my duty to tell you that you must, at all times try to avoid the occurrence of such crimes in the first place.
This case, if nothing else, serves as a bleak reminder that, as much as we discuss and try to prevent crimes such as underage drinking, public drunkenness, and even DUI, we need to be teaching our young people about the consequences of dating violence.