Common College Crimes

Students across the country are heading back to college for another year of growth, experimentation, learning, and challenges. During this time, it’s not uncommon for some to find themselves facing legal troubles. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 28,406 crimes against people and property at college institutions in 2016.

The following are four common crimes that occur on public and private college campuses.

Most Common Types of Criminal Activity

Alcohol Crimes. When people think of college many people think of wild parties complete with lots of alcohol. Consuming alcohol can turn in to a serious problem quickly, resulting in criminal offenses.

Some alcohol offenses include:

  • Underage drinking
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI/DWAI/DUI)
  • Public intoxication

Alcohol intoxication will impair your judgement, behavior, and response time. It may also contribute to committing other crimes due to poor judgement or aggression.

Drug Crimes. Many may not like to admit it, but using illegal drugs is common amongst young adults. However, there are serious consequences for possessing, using, or selling illicit substances. The misuse or selling of prescription medications can also lead to trouble with the law.

Theft. Theft is the most reported type of on-campus offense, with 12,300 burglaries taking place in 2015. Commonly stolen items include laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Robberies and motor vehicle theft are also common.

Assault or battery. Assault is an intentional act that causes a fear of imminent harmful or offensive touching. An assault can occur even if the contact never happens. An accidental action would not be considered assault as the act must be intentional.

Battery is an intentional physical contact or offensive touching, where the victim has not given consent to be touched. The physical touching must be offensive to a reasonable person.

Repercussions of assault charges can be severe, especially if weapons become involved at any point.

Being Arrested by Campus Police

Many assume that an arrest by an on-campus cop will only result in a warning or a fine. In most cases, campus police have the same rights and abilities as state and local police authorities. In addition, many on campus police forces are branches of local police. They have the same ability to make an arrest, secure a search warrant, and question those they deem suspicious of committing a crime.

If campus police don’t have the same powers as regular police forces, criminal charges will usually be filed at the municipal level and not just with the school. This will likely result in criminal charges for the defendant. Campus police can also join efforts with local police for larger projects, such as crowd control in a campus or city event.

Hiring an Attorney

Being arrested for a crime in college should not be treated any differently than being arrested at another point in your life. It is still a serious offense and you should seek advice from an experience attorney as soon as possible. Getting in trouble with the law in college can result in jail time and fines, a suspension from school and affect your future aspirations.

We’re prepared to defend your rights and secure a bright future for you. Contact us today to request a free consultation.

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