College Crimes: Why Mistakes and Poor Decisions can Cost you Big Time
College is an exciting time. Not only do you meet people and gain exposure to new and oftentimes progressive ideas but also college is a place where you will make decisions that will affect your future. Many times, these decisions are good and shape who you will ultimately become as an adult and a professional. Sometimes, these decisions are bad and can follow you for the rest of your life if you do not have adequate legal counsel to help you through disciplinary actions.
The U.S. Department of Education provides data reflecting that thousands of students have been arrested over the last few years on college campuses for offenses ranging from theft, weapons, drugs, violence and more.
If you commit a criminal act on or off campus, you not only have to answer to the police, but the college institution you are attending as well. Accordingly, not only might your freedom be at stake, but even if you aren’t punished with imprisonment or fines by local authorities, you may still be kicked out of school or barred from applying to professional schools or graduate programs.
Knowing your School’s Policies will help you Avoid Disciplinary Action
Every year, the University of Miami issues comprehensive safety report setting forth crime data as well as the university’s policy and judicial action. Specific prohibitions include:
- Unlawful manufacture, sale and distribution of drugs or abuse of alcohol
- Possession, control or display of any firearm, electric weapon or destructive device while on school property. Persons qualified to carry concealed weapons are not exempt.
While it may seem obvious that drugs are banned from campus, you may not realize that this firearm rule applies to you even if you are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Similarly, what if you host a party and serve alcohol to minors? Or what if you go to a party and end up consuming alcohol and you are not yet 21 years old?
Sexual misconduct is another hot button issues that gets a lot of media attention. Despite polarizing views, the University of Miami provides fairly concise yet strict policies on activity that may be considered sexual misconduct. Just because you are accused of such an activity does not mean you don’t deserve effective legal counsel.
What should you do if you’re Accused of a Crime?
Ultimately, not only is every state different, but every school is a little bit different as well. If you are coming from a place and are unfamiliar with rules in force in your new setting, you could end up facing disciplinary action even for seemingly innocent behavior.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner has been providing aggressive and competent criminal defense for South Floridians for over four decades. If you’ve or a loved one in college has been accused of a crime either by local authorities or campus authorities, contact our law office today for a free initial consultation. We will work tirelessly to help you get back to school and back on track.