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Absent College Students Have Risks if Criminal Case Pending

Most students at Purdue, Indiana, and Ball State have left campus and switched to remote instruction due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While classes may be accessible on-line, students with pending criminal cases may be subject to court orders to appear for hearings, complete probation terms, or report for drug screens. Failing to comply with any of these requirements could result in an arrest warrant.

How can college students attend hearings when subject to a travel ban?

The Indiana Supreme Court has provided guidelines for trial courts to manage cases while keeping the public safe during travel bans and calls for social distancing.  This has resulted in many courts delaying non-essential hearings. However, for defendants who do not have an attorney, this may be difficult to manage and plan for.

An attorney can appear for a defendant at many pre-trial hearings, alleviating the need for college students to return to town for court.  A lawyer can also manage the rapidly changing docket, so that students can focus on classes.

What should college students on probation do in Tippecanoe, Monroe, or Delaware County?

Students on probation or a diversion agreement may be required to complete community service, drug and alcohol classes, or other terms of probation. Regardless of shutdowns and travel restrictions, defendants should not wait assuming they will be given more time. If completing probation or diversion terms will be a challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is prudent to file notice with the court and seek an extension of time. Taking no action could result in the State filing a petition alleging a probation violation.

How can Purdue, Indiana, and Ball State students work with an attorney while away from campus?

Gibson Law Office has offices in Lafayette, Bloomington, and Anderson (serving Muncie). However, even when students are on campus, most clients rarely come to the office. We have a fully cloud-based system that provides seamless communication with clients and their parents (when students authorize parent access). With our client portal, students have access to their file from anywhere in the world and can instant message our attorneys. Clients literally receive police reports and court orders simultaneously with our attorneys, so they know what is going on with their case.

If you are a student at Purdue, IU, or Ball State and have a pending criminal case, contact Gibson Law Office. Our attorneys can provide local representation while you are away from campus.