College is supposed to be a life-changing experience. You can enjoy freedom for the first time and learn about yourself. It’s the chance to prepare yourself for adulthood and surround yourself with the right people who may be your friends for life. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be responsible, and while reporting crimes committed on campus is essential for maintaining a safe environment, you could be caught up in something terrible. Getting in trouble with the law is terrifying no matter who you are, so you must know the possible consequences–and solutions–if you commit a crime while attending college.
What Crimes Do College Students Commit?
The range of student crimes may surprise you. While the everyday college student is not engaging in money laundering or running vast criminal operations, there are several petty crimes the average student could get mixed up in. These crimes include:
- Underage drinking
- Drug consumption and distribution
- Impaired driving
- Vandalism and criminal damage
- Assault and sexual crimes
These examples should horrify you, especially as you want to be a good and responsible student. However, you could make a mistake with drastic consequences, which is why you need to know what to expect.
School Policy And Criminal Law Are Not the Same
The school and the law are not entwined. Both parties have separate policies that could multiply your problems. All schools possess zero-tolerance policies regarding criminal behavior, so you could face expulsion if you are found to have committed a crime. Other possibilities include suspension and removal from school teams, which could hurt your future chances.
And this does not even factor in what the law will do. Depending on which crime you committed, you could be facing significant jail time so you can kiss your college career goodbye. At best, you may only need to do community service or pay a fine, but even that is not so straightforward.
College Kids Are More Vulnerable
College kids often don’t have the safety net of their parents and community to deal with criminal charges. This means they may not be able to afford to pay fines or even have an excellent attorney represent them. However, an experienced car accident lawyer can ease your legal burden as long as you know who to contact.
There could also be mental and physical consequences, including injuries and stress. Again, an experienced lawyer can help you receive compensation if the issue was not your fault.
It Could Ruin Your Future
You might be young, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ruin your future with one stupid mistake. College grants you freedom, but too many kids take this freedom too far which leads to addictions and getting involved with the wrong crowd. Ideally, you won’t serve any jail time for minor offenses (like shoplifting), but assault could carry a hefty sentence that may ruin your life, so don’t even try.
Everyone wants to have fun at college. But you’re still a kid and have a lot to learn. You’re bound to make mistakes, but there’s a difference between missing a class after parting too hard and causing criminal damage. Most college kids go their entire tenure without committing a crime, but those that do put their future in serious jeopardy, so be smart. You’re at college, after all.