If you are a college student and have been charged with a more serious crime then you will need to obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Depending on the college that you attend, it is quite possible that your hired defense attorney will be able to advocate on your behalf, in front of your college’s disciplinary board. In addition to facing state charges, students accused of committing more serious crimes are often subject to either suspension or expulsion from their college.
Common crimes committed by college students are:
The Commonwealth is committed to cracking down on underage drinking on college campuses. In fact, The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission launched an annual initiative called Operation Safe Campus to monitor bars and liquor stores near college areas. Students face legal consequences if they are under the age of 21 and either purchase or attempt to purchase liquor with falsified identification. Be aware, a person under the age of 21 will also be punished if they made arrangements with any person to buy or procure alcohol. A person convicted of violating this law shall be punished by a fine of three hundred dollars and will lose his or her license or right to operate a motor vehicle.
Theft: Theft of electronics is a major problem on many college campuses. A defendant may be guilty of larceny even if the property is later returned. If the value of the property stolen exceeds two hundred and fifty dollars, the person is subject to state imprisonment for up to five years, or by a fine of up to twenty-five thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for up to two years. If the value of the property stolen, other than a firearm, does not exceed two hundred and fifty dollars then the person is subject to imprisonment in jail for up to a year or by a fine of up to three hundred dollars.
Assault: Sexual assault and sexual harassment on college campuses have been a major problem. Students accused of this serious crime face expulsion with a permanent black mark on their transcripts that will make it very difficult for another college to accept their enrollment. In Massachusetts, sexual assault is defined, as any crime in which the offender subjects the victim to sexual touching that is unwanted and offensive. There are two categories of sexual assault: (1) indecent assault and battery, and (2) aggravated sexual assault. When the victim requires medical care, the crime becomes a case of aggravated assault – resulting in a much harsher punishment. A person convicted of sexual assault is subject to imprisonment and will likely be placed on the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board.
Drug Possession: Massachusetts has serious criminal penalties for use of controlled substances or drugs, varying with the type of drug. Controlled substances are not allowed on college campuses. Common examples of controlled substances, as defined by law, are cocaine, marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, LSD, and other hallucinogens. Generally, narcotic, addictive, and drugs with greater potential for abuse carry higher penalties. Persons convicted of drug possession under state and federal laws are ineligible for federal student grants and loans for five years following the first conviction, ten years after the second, and permanently after the third conviction. Additionally, Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be in the company of a person known to possess heroin. Anyone in the presence of heroin at a private party risks a serious drug conviction. In Massachusetts, the sale of possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal. Be advised that even though penalties for possession are generally not as great as for manufacture and distribution, the possession of relatively large quantities may be considered as intent to distribute. Federal law makes the distribution of drugs to persons under 21 punishable by twice the normal penalty with a mandatory one year in prison.