The beginning of the school year is upon us. For college students, this comes with a whole mix of emotions, new starts, challenges, and other big life changes. With classes about to start, you’ll want to brush up on how to have a safe school year. To accomplish this, you’ll want to become educated on the most common crimes on college campuses. We list some common occurrences below along with what you should do if someone accuses you of these crimes.
This may seem obvious, but it’s still important to note. Many college students will start drinking well before they turn 21. The binge-drinking culture of college can end up doing a lot of harm to a student’s life—whether that be educationally, relationally, mentally, or physically. In fact, according to the Alcohol Rehab Guide, “Each year, close to 600,000 college students unintentionally injure themselves due to heavy drinking.” Not only that, but underage drinking can lead to drunk driving charges. Officers have a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers. This means the offense will result in major consequences.
Drug possession on college campuses spans much further than marijuana. It now includes prescription medications, cocaine, and more. Possession, use, or drug distribution is particularly common on college campuses. These offenses lead to significant consequences, especially if campus officials and on-campus or off-campus police get involved.
Forcible Sexual Offenses
According to the NCVC’s School Crime research report, in 2005, there were 5,522 forcible sexual offenses while in 2014 those numbers skyrocketed to 17,441. It’s safe to assume this increase is due to more individuals feeling empowered to come forward about the crime. However, numerous other factors play a role in this increased number, and it’s also important to account for false accusations. Forcible sexual offenses are a big issue on college campuses and come with major consequences. If an individual accuses you or someone you know, reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Property crimes are another common crime on college campuses and include offenses such as robbery, burglary, vandalism, and theft. Burglary is one of the most common aforementioned crimes. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2016, “there were 12,000 burglaries, which constituted 42 percent of all criminal incidents.” Theft also plays a large role at colleges, as many student’s valuables, such as laptops and smartphones, are particularly vulnerable to thievery. Typically, campus officials will deal with these “smaller” crimes. However, there is always a chance that off-campus police can get involved.
Harassment or Bullying
Any person from any background can partake in actions such as harassment or bullying. Nonetheless, it is still a crime. Typically, the harassment or bullying situations on college campuses stem from romantic relationships or association with hazing. These actions are harder to pinpoint and can often go unhandled.
If you are a college student facing criminal charges, take all the necessary steps to make a solid case. Reach out to a Clackamas County criminal defense lawyer to give yourself the best chance at facing these issues. If you hope to continue your college career and find employment in the future, it’s important you seek help immediately.