Common College Crimes Committed by Students


Sending our children out into the world on their own can be both an exciting and terrifying time for a parent. This is a time for your child to learn and grow independently, and that means you will not have the same level of oversight and control over their activities. During this stage of development, young adults push boundaries and test limits, and although we all hope that our children will make the right decisions, we have enough experience to know that will not always be the case.

Many of the charges that college students face center around the use of alcohol and are considered trivial by some, but keep in mind that they will affect your child’s criminal record and future employment opportunities all the same. It is important to act fast if your child has been charged with a crime. Common charges include:

Alcohol-Related Crimes

There are a variety of charges that can be brought against a college student related to the use of alcohol, both before and after they turn 21 years old. Some common charges for individuals under the age of 21 include Minor in Possession, Drunk in Public, Driving under the Influence, and Possession / Use of a fake ID. These crimes can all be charged as misdemeanor offenses in CA, but DUI and fake ID charges are considered “wobbler” crimes, meaning that they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

Alcohol-related charges are not reserved for those under the age of 21; there are a slew of charges that can be brought against individuals who are of legal drinking age as well. As we all know, the use of alcohol can affect our judgment, and individuals who are new to alcohol, like college students, are hypersensitive to these effects. An argument between lovers, a fist fight at a party, or unwanted sexual advances can lead to serious abuse, assault, or even rape charges.

For those over 21, the consequences of alcohol-related offenses can be just as severe. Public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and DUI charges can lead to hefty fines, community service, and even jail time. Moreover, a criminal record can severely limit future opportunities, including employment prospects, academic advancements, and even housing options. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the gravity of these charges and to seek experienced legal counsel immediately.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault on college campuses has drawn a lot of attention nationally and has become a priority for prosecutors across the country. These cases generally center around consent, and very rarely is the picture clear. Complicating factors include social pressures, inexperience in sexual situations, and alcohol/drug use, all of which combine to create a situation that is anything but clear.

These situations often involve young adults who are inexperienced and navigating complex social and sexual dynamics for the first time. The presence of alcohol or drugs can further complicate matters, leading to impaired judgment and regrettable decisions. The repercussions of a sexual assault accusation are far-reaching and can permanently alter a young person’s life. Convictions can result in severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and a lasting stigma that affects personal and professional relationships.

Even the most responsible young adult can make a poor decision, especially at the beginning of their adult life. The attorneys at Elite Criminal Defense are experienced in defending college students and will fight to ensure that an early life mistake will not affect the rest of it. They understand the unique challenges faced by college students and employ a compassionate yet strategic approach to defending their rights.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Drug-related charges are another common issue faced by college students. Whether it’s possession of marijuana, prescription drugs without a prescription, or more serious substances like cocaine or ecstasy, these charges carry significant penalties. The severity of the punishment often depends on the type and quantity of the drug, as well as the intent (personal use vs. distribution).

A conviction for drug possession can lead to jail time, fines, probation, and a permanent mark on one’s criminal record. In addition to the legal consequences, students may face disciplinary action from their educational institution, including suspension or expulsion, which can derail their academic and career plans.

Assault and Other Violent Crimes

College life, with its high-energy social environment, can sometimes lead to conflicts and physical altercations. Assault charges can arise from fights at parties, dormitory scuffles, or even heated arguments that escalate. Depending on the circumstances, assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, with penalties ranging from fines and community service to significant prison time.

Assault charges can also be compounded by other factors such as the use of a weapon, the severity of injuries inflicted, or prior criminal history. A conviction can have long-lasting effects, impacting a student’s ability to continue their education, secure employment, or maintain a clean criminal record.

Contact San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

When you have been charged with a crime, choose a criminal defense attorney in San Diego with the experience and dedication to make a difference. Elite Criminal Defense is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and excellent legal representation for those charged with any type of crime.

Whether it’s your first charge or your second, you need a dedicated and skilled attorney by your side. Contact us online or call us at 619-642-2310 for a free and confidential case consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the San Diego community and throughout surrounding areas.

Call Now