Avoiding Legal Troubles in College: Keep Your Future Bright
Students heading off to college indeed have a lot to learn, but some lessons are worth avoiding altogether. It may be unintentional, but often times a student’s first priority is not keeping a solid academic status. Distractions in college are abound and many of them can lead to big trouble with the law. If legal problems aren’t bad enough on their own, University disciplinary actions can be taken as well against students. This can lead to the loss of scholarships, removal from student housing, and even expulsion from school. As such it is worth knowing the most common reasons college students get into trouble with the law. Read on to find out exactly what needs to be avoided and how you can graduate with a clean and crime-free record.
Drug and Alcohol Use
One of the top reasons students get into trouble is because of drugs and alcohol. Being found in possession of drugs will in the least get you a ticket with a fine, you may even go to jail depending on the type and quantity. If you’re found in possession on school grounds, you can expect a whole other headache to emerge. Universities have a no drug policy, and rarely do they take this lightly.
The same can be said for alcohol related crimes. Whether you are underage, purchasing it for others who are underage, or were found guilty of public intoxication, alcohol related crimes are serious. Beyond being drunk or in possession of alcohol, there is a whole other realm of crimes that usually occur due to alcohol consumption. One of the most common crimes that occur is indecent exposure, which usually occurs when a student is found publicly urinating.
All of the above mentioned crimes may be bad, but being under the influence of drugs or alcohol becomes worse when you are found driving as well. Driving while under the influence (DUI), driving while ability impaired (DWAI), or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) are all serious offences. They not only create mountains of legal problems, but put people’s lives at risk as well which is the main reason to avoid driving while intoxicated in any way.
People have disagreements, that much can be expected in life. But when those disagreements turn physical, you open yourself up to numerous legal troubles. Verbal assault also is quite common and can become a problem if it is severe or persistent enough. Many teens imagine that once they go to college, people mature, and the bullying they are all too familiar with might end. Sadly however, this is not always the case. But there is one major benefit of growing up, and that is bullying is no longer considered a small irritant to be endured. Once you’re an adult, bullying quickly becomes harassment.
Outspoken bigotry, racial and sexual slurs, and prejudices of any kind no longer have to be tolerated. Public shaming, slanderous remarks and libelous comments all constitute defamation. If you feel threatened, or are in fear of your life or property, this is harassment. These things do not have to be dealt with as an adult. So if you are one to make rude comments, or openly make negative remarks on someone’s race, sex, creed, or sexual orientation, you can expect to run into some legal problems in the future.
Hazing is the practice of rituals involving harassment, abuse, or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group. These are often performed by sororities, fraternities, clubs, sports teams, bands, and any other group of people that feel an initiation is required. Hazing is prohibited by law as it usually results in physical or psychological abuse of some kind. Initiation rituals which do not physically or mentally harm a person are usually deemed ok, however few initiation rituals are harmless.
The worst hazing initiation the public has recently been made aware of is called “butt chugging.” This is where a student intakes alcohol via an enema rather than consuming it orally. This is tremendously dangerous, humiliating, and degrading. Before ever participating in any initiation rituals, be sure that what is being done is safe and in no way harms the person being initiated.
Vandalism is the marring or destruction of another person’s property. You wouldn’t typically think many people would be inherently destructive, but when drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure steps in, a person can make terrible decisions. Whether you are spray painting graffiti on building walls, slashing car tires, or egging the professor’s house, vandalism can take many weird turns as a result of what was done.
If a racial slur was spray-painted, it can be considered a hate crime. If the slashed tire didn’t fully deflate and the person ends up in an accident because of a blow-out tire, you can be charged with attempted murder. If your professor was in fear of his/her life, or if it caused mental anguish because you egged him/her repeatedly, it can be considered harassment. In the end, avoid destroying or defacing other people’s property. Even if it was supposed to be in jest or a harmless act, it may not be taken or have occurred that way. A lot more trouble can come down on you than was originally anticipated.
Finally, there is one of the worst crimes to have committed against you or to be accused of. Sexual assault and rape claims occur every day across the US and they create a rather difficult problem to resolve. On one hand, anyone who has sexually assaulted another person needs to pay for their crime and their punishment should be severe. To take advantage of another person in that way is unforgivable, nefarious, and evil.
However on the other hand, of all sexual assault claims a good number of them are dropped or later found out to be made up. Sometimes, when intoxicated enough, consent may be forgotten. Perhaps there is denial and shame which leads a person to make a fake sexual assault claim. No doubt rape is wrong, but accusing someone of rape who did not actually commit that act, is terrible in its own right.
Sadly, many people are falsely accused of sexual assault and some are actually found guilty of crimes they didn’t commit. When dealing with rape cases, the law has to take every claim seriously as you cannot assume someone is crying wolf when dealing with a matter such as this. There is really no way to guarantee you are never charged with rape as anyone can make a claim against you, no matter how erroneous their claim may be. But there are a few things you can do to help your chances of avoiding being falsely accused.
To start, you should never try to have sex with someone who is obviously intoxicated. Consent can always be questionable, and often times when drunk, your memory is hazy the next day. So the person may genuinely not remember the events of the night before or giving their consent. Secondly, and the most important, you should get to know the person you are going to sleep with. This may seem like something your grandparents would say, but if you give it time, go out on a few dates, talk about your life ambitions; you will probably get a pretty good read on the other person. You’ll figure out their character, morals, ethics, and everything else that would cue you that they are a suitable partner. If however, you shoot for the one night stands, expect to be walking through a minefield. Anyone of your next steps might blow up resulting in a person thinking they were taken advantage of or were ashamed of sleeping with you and had no other explanation to friends or peers.
So avoid all the legal headaches you can while you are a student. It’s bad enough getting into trouble with the law, it’s far worse to get into trouble while you are in school. College is meant for brightening your future… not tarnishing it.
At The Clark Law Firm, we understand that the law can be a tricky course to navigate. If you need help finding your way and have been convicted of a DUI in Boulder Colorado, or are concerned with Drug Offenses, in need of Felony Defense or Misdemeanor Defense, please be sure to contact us immediately. We will hit the ground running to make sure you have the best Boulder Attorney and legal coverage possible!