A Criminal Defence Lawyer’s perspective on the problems that can arise when students get carried away at Freshers Week
For students living in Manchester, Freshers Week has been just the start of the university social adventure. Students from all over the world have arrived and the party atmosphere has well and truly begun. Some may say a bit too much as there are reports Greater Manchester Police have already attended various streets in Fallowfield and Withington following a surge in noise complaints from local residents and banning student from such rowdy parties.
Inevitably it’s not just alcohol on offer. At this time of year, new students mean new customers for those that supply illegal drugs.
Legal Highs – Legal?
We see a number of students each year caught up in the party atmosphere away from home and stretching their student loans to cover not just the essential books, rent and food but also the occasional weekend highs. Due to the wide availability of legal highs, some are shying away from the clearly illegal substances, going for the new alternatives with the attitude that it is the safer option. Surely the name itself ‘legal’ highs mean they are totally safe from any criminal consequences? Wrong.
The mental and physical reactions to these dangerous chemicals often lead to an array of criminal offences being committed with assaults and public order offences being at the top of that list.
As a criminal solicitor, I have lost count of the number of clients I have sat and shown takeaway CCTV footage to after a night of cheap alcohol and cheap drugs who have no recollection of the brawl unfolding on the screen. Glasses, bottles and chairs being thrown can, and has, led to some very nasty injuries and very serious charges. The consequences of an arrest for students can be catastrophic: foreign students with convictions that can affect their visa status, students who lose the financial support of their parents and most seriously those that end up locked away in HMP Manchester as opposed to the lecture theatre on a Monday morning.
Another feature of the student life is finances! Student loans not stretching far enough and a tempting offer to supply drugs to your circle of friends sounds like an easy offer and a good way to pay the rent. It always comes as a shock to clients who, up until the current charge have a blemish free background, to tell them, even with full credit for a guilty plea, supplying Class A drugs will lead to a custodial sentence in the region of 3 years imprisonment.
Specialist Criminal Defence Lawyers
We at Olliers Solicitors can provide specialist criminal representation. Students afraid of their parents finding out about an arrest often try and go it alone at the police Station. Big mistake. It is crucial that you obtain legal advice from that early stage. Representations could be made to the police or advice given to you as to how to deal with your interview that affect the outcome of the arrest. A caution could be given instead of charge, charges reduced or even no further action being taken by the police. If you find yourself being questioned by the police, or facing prosecution for a criminal offence, then it is crucial you seek specialist criminal representation and we would suggest you contact us in order we may advise you how best to proceed.
Stacey Mabrouk – Criminal Defence Lawyer
Written by Stacey Mabrouk. Stacey is a specialist criminal defence lawyer who deals with the full spectrum of criminal offences. She regularly attends at the police station to deal with clients who have been arrested for a variety of offences including serious assaults, sexual offences, public order act offences and drugs offences.