Education 

Crimes committed by students on or off school grounds, can have lasting, negative consequences, including suspension, expulsion and criminal charges.

Students have rights.  On July 26, 2018, the Fairfax County School Board voted to adopt a new memorandum of understanding, ("MOU"), between Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand and Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. The new MOU requires school resource officers to (1) contact a student’s parents or guardian before questioning about any possible criminal activity and (2) inform both the student and their guardian of their Miranda rights prior to the interview. In addition, the MOU limits interventions by school resources officers to incidents involving safety concerns that cannot be resolved by school security staff.

Make sure that you and your child are familiar with the school's student rights and responsibilities guide before the school year begins.  If your child is being investigated for or accused of any type of offense, it is important that you first speak to an experienced Fairfax attorney that represents students in school disciplinary matters.

Defense lawyer Melinda VanLowe has represented countless Virginia students who face disciplinary action for violations of school polices.  She has experience with the disciplinary process from the school imposed sanction and recommendation for expulsion to the appeals process through the office of the superintendent and, eventually, the school board.

Helping You Through A Complex Superintendent and School Board Disciplinary Process

What can you do if your child is facing suspension or expulsion?  If the school makes a decision to recommend suspension or expulsion, your student has rights.  To protect those rights, immediately contact the office of the superintendent in your county and request the suspension/expulsion disciplinary packet.  This packet contains your student’s disciplinary, academic, and attendance records as well as statements from your student and other witnesses about the incident.   The superintendent’s office will review this packet and use it, in part, to decide whether to suspend or expel your child.

Finally it is important to contact a lawyer to assist with the disciplinary process.   The American Bar Association discussed the need for parents to retain an attorney for their children who are the subject of school discipline.  Ms. VanLowe's experience with these matters allows her to develop an effective strategy designed to secure a positive outcome and prepare your child for what's to come.

The firm represents students in a variety of school violations, including:

  • Possession of firearms, explosives and other dangerous objects

  • Bullying, fighting and other forms of violence

  • Making threats verbally, via social media or in writing

  • Possession of drugs, synthetic drugs or drug paraphernalia

  • Drug or synthetic drug sales

  • Sex crimes, including rape, sexual assault and sexting

  • Theft

  • Vandalism

  • Possession and use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes

Speak To A Qualified Fairfax County Juvenile Defense Attorney

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation regarding your school violation defense needs.