The Best Defense
College students are some of the smartest and dumbest people on the planet. Parents try very hard to prepare their young for the trials and troubles they will face while living away from home. As hard as parents work to teach their children right from wrong, inevitably some mistakes will be made. Unfortunately, many of these mistakes involve unfortunate contact with local law enforcement.
These “mistakes” often occur at late hours while students are far away from their homes, sometimes even across state lines. Getting arrested while so far from home creates difficulties for families that go way beyond normal stress and fear of the unknown. The physical distance can create issues for parents who need to respond to these stressful situations. How do I contact my child? Who will bail my child out of jail? What happened? Where is my child?
The image of speaking to the panicked, dramatic and slightly stoned friend of your child who witnessed the arrest and who somehow avoided getting arrested himself comes to mind; “I don’t know what happened. We weren’t doing anything and the police just came over and arrested everyone. We weren’t doing anything, I swear.”.
Most common crimes that I see committed by college students:
- Possession of Drugs
- Sale/Delivery of Drugs
- Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
- False ID possession
- Simple Assault/Battery (Fighting)
- Disorderly Conduct (causing a “scene” in public)
- Theft Offenses
- Criminal Mischief (vandalism)
- Trespassing (going somewhere not permitted)
If you are a college parent or a soon to be college student or even a graduate student, there are several things you need to know about being arrested while a student at college or university.
These common offenses can be serious enough when committed by a non-student. However, when committed by an enrolled college or grad-student, whether committed on or off campus can have very serious consequences which could effect not only the students life, but their ability to stay in school.
Some consequences a criminal conviction may cause for a college student:
- Having a permanent criminal record
- Difficulties obtaining federal funding for school
- Challenges in applying to graduate school
- The inability to find desirable employment
- Be required to go before the school’s inter-disciplinary system
Every university has a student code of conduct which is readily available on the school’s website. These codes of conduct include information about what will happen to a student who has been accused of or arrested for a crime. To add insult to injury, many times, police will forward the arrest information to school administration and the school may take action outside of the court system. This action may be in the form of a code of conduct violation which could result in a suspension from school.
This is why it is so important to remember the most important thing when it comes to the criminal justice system:
The best defense is to be somewhere else!
All too often, campus police are called to respond to a suite full of students, some of whom are partaking in illegal conduct. Campus police will arrive at the suite and simply arrest everyone they see and let the courts and attorney’s sort them out later. Do not allow yourself to be put into a situation where you are at risk of being blamed for someone else’s criminal activity. Always remember that getting arrested while attending school will have serious consequences on the future of any student.
If you are a College Student, Parent of a College Student or a Soon-To-Be College or Grad-Student facing any criminal charge, or if you have any questions related to criminal law please call 1-800-403-3887 to speak to Grant Schwarz, Criminal Defense Attorney. Phones are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week for a free case evaluation.
Never talk to police or go to court without first speaking with a criminal defense attorney. Remember, even fish would not get caught if they kept their mouth shut.