As a college student, you are often confronted with many different situations that are often not necessarily legal and can lead to severe repercussions. College crimes often include misdemeanor offenses, but many charges can be heightened which lead to extended jail time, fines, and potentially even expulsion from your college. If you are facing a college crime, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Phoenix college crimes attorney rather than attempt to defend your crime on your own in court.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense as a college student in Phoenix, do not despair. An initial arrest is not a conviction, and with the proper legal counsel, you will be able to fully understand the ramifications of your criminal act. Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Craig Orent of the Orent Law Offices has over 30 years of experience in defending clients against misdemeanor and felony charges and understands all too well the impact a criminal conviction will have on your record as a young adult. He will work tirelessly to attempt to drop charges against you or diminish the severity.
Most college crimes in Arizona are considered misdemeanor offenses – centered around alcohol and drug use. Many of these crimes are seemingly small charges but can have vast repercussions on your future. Misdemeanor offenses include:
If you are charged with a felony offense, you are often taken to jail and may be held there a few nights, depending on the severity of the offense. Several crime offenses that fall within a felony include:
You do not want a misdemeanor or felony conviction to haunt you the rest of your life, and soil your stellar reputation on graduate school applications and job applications. Most graduate school applications require you to disclose whether you have any criminal convictions. While they may not deny you entrance based on that, it is not a risk you want to take if you want to go on to law school, med school, or gain a PhD. While felony crimes aren’t as common among college students, these accusations, at any age, are very serious and will drastically shape the rest of your life. Whether you are faced with a misdemeanor or felony as a college student, do not lax on speaking with a campus crime lawyer immediately after an accusation.
There are several reasons why burglary, theft and assault may be the highest reported crimes on college campuses. The close proximity of students and staff, the often lighter levels of security, and the sense of comfort tend to allow students and staff to let their guards down. When it comes to college campuses, students may be less likely to secure their personal belongings, dormitories may be in disrepair, or lacking thorough security measures, and students may have a false sense of trust between other students.
Arizona is one of the safest states when it comes to burglaries. According to the Office of Postsecondary Education, the state ranks 49th in the nation for burglaries, motor vehicle theft, and robbery, with only 3.9 thefts per 10,000 students. However, there are some colleges in Arizona that pose a higher risk of theft than others. UTI Arizona MMI, for example, had 1.9 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000 students – around 11 times higher than the state average.
One of the most alarming aspects of college crimes is the possibility of expulsion from your university. Many Arizona colleges have guidelines in place, which protect students from first-time offenses and place them on probation before asking the student to leave. However, each school is different and requires research into the student handbook after a criminal offense has been committed.
Punishment under Arizona state law includes potential jail sentences up to 6 months for misdemeanors, depending on the severity. Felony charges offer a larger range of punishments and may involve anywhere from a 1-year prison sentence up to life in prison or the death penalty for Class 1 Felony convictions.
Crimes on campus are an unfortunate reality for many students. The Office of Postsecondary Education analyzes data from public universities, classifying them from small (under 1,000 enrolled) to large (exceeding enrollment of 10,000 students) and identifies patterns nationwide. According to its research, the most common crimes occurring on college campuses include:
Burglary is by far the most common crime on large college campuses. The number of reported college burglaries averages around 7,000 each year. These statistics only apply to on-campus events, so burglary around the larger near-campus area is likely much higher. Burglars make off with items like laptops, phones, and cash. Crime may occur between students or from an off-campus source.
A motor vehicle theft described by a Phoenix theft attorney, is when someone gains control of someone else’s vehicle with the intent to take the vehicle away from the owner permanently. Stolen cars come in second place regarding on-campus crimes. Between 2012 and 2014, 15.4% of all campus crimes involved theft of a motor vehicle. Motor vehicle theft is a distant second to burglary, which composes 77% of all college campus-related crime. However, it still remains a large problem for college students, faculty, and staff.
Finally, sexual assault is the third highest crime reported on college campuses. Unfortunately, the degree of sexual assault on college campuses may be inaccurate, as many incidents go unreported. Current studies suggest that one in five college women experience sexual assault. Women who identify as gay, bisexual, or lesbian are most likely to experience sexual assault on campus, but it affects everyone – of all ages, races, ethnicities, and gender identities.
How a college campus handles a campus crime depends on the nature of the offense. For serious criminal offenses like motor vehicle theft and sexual assault, non-campus law enforcement generally get involved. On the other hand, crimes like petty theft may only involve campus authorities. Those accused of the more serious offenses will need the guidance of a college crime attorney. However, smaller offenses may only involve matters of campus court, and a student may not need help from a professional. For some smaller crimes, a student generally represents him or herself in front of a campus organization, and local law enforcement stays out of the process.
On the other hand, campus courts can only deal with campus crimes to a certain extent. If you’re facing more serious charges, your case may become a matter for local law enforcement. In this case, speak with an attorney about your legal options and secure the best criminal defense representation possible. If you’re facing charges related to a college crime, you need effective legal representation. Contact Phoenix college crimes attorney Craig Orent and learn more about your legal options today.