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Student Avoids Felony Charges Through School’s Discipline Process

Jun 14 2016, by Jessica McElfresh in Case Results, Criminal Defense, Felony

Even the strongest among us can have problems that need attention, but an individual’s unfortunate situation doesn’t always demand criminal charges. In some cases, putting an individual through the criminal justice system is excessive and it takes a passionate legal advocate to set things right. Not long ago, a young college student began having difficulty managing his stressful class schedule and started engaging in self-harm and other destructive behaviors. The man’s tendencies manifested in banging his head against the wall of a campus bathroom, lighting crumpled paper towels on fire, and in one instance scratching a paper towel dispenser. While these actions were certainly worrisome and dangerous, once the school became aware of the situation, the man could have also been charged with very severe felony charges, including arson, despite the fact that it wasn’t his intention to cause any property damage. Essentially, if the school forwarded the case to the prosecutor’s office, the young man’s once bright future would certainly dim; therefore, he retained San Diego attorney Jessica McElfresh to lessen the impact of the situation and hopefully avoid felony charges.

Attorney McElfresh knew that the young man’s situation did not warrant such severe ramifications and immediately began working to alleviate his legal concerns by speaking with the university, who were initially hesitant about forgoing criminal prosecution. However, after the man entered treatment for his emotional issues, she successfully negotiated to have the school forego forwarding the matter to county prosecutors in exchange for paying restitution for the damage he caused and agreeing to participate in non-academic probation, which included a decision-making course and the completion of 50 hours of volunteer work. With the help of attorney McElfresh, the man was able to avoid devastating and unnecessary felony charges by going through the school’s discipline process. Additionally, after he considerably lightened his class schedule, the young man is free to continue with his studies, while he gets the necessary treatment to better deal with stress.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.