ASU Criminal Defense

ASU Criminal Defense Attorneys


Facing criminal charges as a college student can significantly alter your future. It can affect future employment opportunities and can even result in expulsion from Arizona State University. These matters should not be taken lightly. Having a knowledgeable, experienced ASU criminal law attorney on your side is crucial.

At JacksonWhite, our ASU criminal law team has over 15 years’ experience helping ASU students in numerous types of criminal cases.

Arizona State University Crime Statistics

For 2015, the Arizona State University Police Department reported the following statistics:

  • 44 Forcible Sex Offenses
  • 103 Burglaries
  • Of the 741 Disciplinary Referrals given for Drug related crimes, 592 students were arrested — 79.9% arrest rate.
  • Of the 2,091 Disciplinary Referrals given for Alcohol related crimes, 506 students were arrested — almost 1 in 4 students were arrested for their alcohol related crimes.
*Statistics from the Arizona State University 2016 Annual Security Report

Criminal Offenses Covered by JacksonWhite


Drug Crime charges related to the possession of illegal substances in Arizona include: dangerous drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, drug trafficking or distribution, drug manufacturing, and prescription fraud. The penalties of these crimes can vary drastically depending on the amount found, whether or not there was intent to sell, and other factors.

Marijuana and Paraphernalia Possession is the most common drug charge for Arizona State University students. Although medical marijuana has been legalized in the state of Arizona, the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal and has serious consequences. Our attorneys at JacksonWhite have years of experience dealing with marijuana offenses. Our ASU criminal defense team can provide you with insight and peace of mind having strong, knowledgeable attorneys on your side.

DUI convictions occur when an individual who is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering drugs is pulled over and arrested. According to Arizona drinking laws, the penalties for anyone found driving with a BAC higher than the legal limit of 0.08 or driving impaired to the slightest degree are extremely harsh. First time DUI offenders a more likely to be able to reduce their sentencing, with the assistance of a criminal law attorney.

Driving Crimes include speeding, criminal/excessive speeding, driving on a suspended/cancelled/revoked license, racing, reckless driving, or aggressive driving. The penalties of these crimes are different, but each will involve a fine, and can also include traffic school, imprisonment, and suspending or revoking the driver’s license.

Theft Related Crimes include shoplifting, robbery, theft, motor vehicle theft, and armed robbery. Having a criminal record for a theft offense can have large effects on applications and job searches. We’ve helped clients get cases dismissed or receive lessened penalties with our inclusive, exhaustive approach to criminal defense.

Trespassing is an actively punishable offense on and off campus. It is a common belief that as students at Arizona State University that you have the right to access ASU facilities at any time – this is not true. If you are caught trespassing on campus property by the Arizona State University police or the Tempe police department, you will be issued a disciplinary referral, or arrested.

Providing Alcohol to a Minor can be a common occurrence for college students, but it is a serious offense. Procuring alcohol under the age of 21 or a person providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21 can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. Not only can this result in up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500, but can bring other issues if you are a student.

Hazing according to Arizona law states that public universities like Arizona State University must prohibit hazing and have it in writing for parents and students. If accused, this can not only can this affect your life as a student, but can carry criminal charges if events merit such recourse. Let our Tempe criminal defense attorneys help you resolve your charges related to hazing.

Sex Crimes encompass a range of behavior that is sexual in nature and violates state or federal laws. Sex crimes, especially when committed against children, are punished harshly in Arizona. Common sex crimes include: prostitution, child molestation, indecent exposure, sexual abuse, fondling, sexual conduct with a minor, and rape, among many others.

Juvenile Crimes refer to criminal offenses committed by individuals under the age of 18. Generally, juveniles are not punished as severely as adults, as minors are often given the opportunity for rehabilitation instead of jail time. However, minors can be tried as adults in Arizona if the crime is a serious felony, such as rape or murder.


Understanding your Charges and Options

Depending on the type and severity of the crime that you are being charged with in Arizona, the sentencing and punishments will vary. Most crimes will either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Both misdemeanors and felonies have number-based classifications describing the severity of the crime.

 Misdemeanors are less serious crimes and are classified into three categories in Arizona:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Maximum 6-month incarceration period
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Maximum 4-month incarceration period
  • Class 3 Misdemeanor: Maximum 3-day incarceration period

A fine will most likely be imposed with a misdemeanor conviction. The amount of jail time and money owed will depend on the circumstances of the crime and the criminal record of the defendant.

Felonies describe more serious crimes and include a wide range of offenses. Depending on the nature of the crime and where it took place, a felony can be tried in either state or federal court. Felonies can include armed robbery, arson, auto theft, child pornography, fraud, kidnapping, murder, and rape, among others. Sentencing will also depend on whether it is a first time offense, or if the suspect is a repeat offender. The classifications of felonies in Arizona, and their maximum sentence, are listed below:

  • Class 1 Felony: 25 year to life incarceration period with the possibility of a death penalty (in first degree murder cases)
  • Class 2 Felony: Maximum 10-year incarceration period
  • Class 3 Felony: Maximum 7-year incarceration period
  • Class 4 Felony: Maximum 3-year incarceration period
  • Class 5 Felony: Maximum 2-year incarceration period
  • Class 6 Felony: Maximum 1.5-year incarceration period

Along with jail or prison time, large fines and community service requirements often accompany a felony conviction. Unless legal action is taken, a felony will remain on an individual’s criminal record for the remainder of their life.

Clearance of Record is the process of removing criminal charges from a person’s criminal record. This is available to individuals with a criminal record who were not actually convicted of their charges, and it allows people in Arizona to entirely erase their criminal history.

A Motion to Set Aside allows the defendant to petition to the court to have a conviction set aside. Only defendants who have completed the terms of their sentence are eligible to do so. Some offenses are not eligible to be set aside in Arizona, like those involving a deadly weapon, those that caused serious physical injury, those involving a minor younger than 15 years of age, and others.


International Students

As an international university student in Arizona, being arrested can bring a lot of uncertainty as to how this can affect your legal status. The criminal attorneys at JacksonWhite work hard to keep you from charges and sentences that could keep you out of the United States in the future.  It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights on your side when facing criminal charges.

Call us at 480.467.4370.

Moral Turpitude

Moral Turpitude has a wide range of applications to any crime. If the courts find that the crime you are accused of was exceptionally dangerous, damaging to others, or ill-willed an FI Student Visa can be revoked. Criminal Defense attorneys at JacksonWhite Law can better explain your case to a judge in order to avoid a charge that would be considered having Moral Turpitude. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

University Consequences

Aside from legal troubles, the university may also be able to take action against you. Arizona State University can summon you for a disciplinary hearing for crimes committed. During these hearings, the school has the ability to suspend or even expel a student from the university affecting your FI student Visa. Learn more about the Disciplinary Committee and how JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law can help.

International students- Embassies


ASU- Security Report   Student Organization Handbook   Student Code of Conduct

Student Investigations– Receiving a notice from the University of an investigation can result in suspension or even expulsion. Find out how JacksonWhite can help you during university proceedings.  Learn More


Tempe Municipal CourtAddress: 140 E. 5th St., Tempe, AZ 85281

                                            Phone:(480) 350-8271

                                            Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM


Scottsdale Municipal CourtAddress: 3700 N. 75th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                                                 Phone:(480) 312-2442

                                                 Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM


Phoenix Municipal CourtAddress: 300 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85003

                                              Phone:(602) 262-6421

                                             Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM


Parents- Receiving a troubling call from a child is never simple. Let our criminal defense team guide you and your student through the difficulty and confusions that come with criminal charges. Attorneys at JacksonWhite are ready to schedule your free consultation and answer your questions.

Contact Us

JacksonWhite Criminal Law attorneys 480.467.4370

Having a criminal record can jeopardize the opportunities available to you in the future. Not only can it affect job opportunities once you graduate, but it can result in suspension or expulsion from ASU. If you have been arrested or given a disciplinary referral from ASU regarding criminal charges, call the JacksonWhite criminal law team at 480.467.4370. Let us help you get the best outcome in your case and minimize the long-term effects that criminal charges can impose on a student.

Speak with an Attorney Now