In 2012, law enforcement made an estimated total of 12,196,959 arrests nationwide. Among those arrests were 29,800 criminal incidents involving college students. College often feels like a different plane of existence because the education system and dormitory housing disguises the reality of colleges being places of business. Therefore, when a young college student performs a criminal act such as getting into a fight or drinking underage, they’re often surprised when the result is an arrest rather than a visit to the dean’s office as the case would often be in high school.
As a college student, you should be aware of what is illegal to do on campus as well as in general and the consequences that result from your actions. However, in the event that you have been arrested while in school, here is what will happen and what you can do to defend yourself in the court of law.
Don’t try to persuade your way out of arrest
“The right to remain silent” is meant to be a beneficial right on your behalf. Anything you say to a police officer can be used against you during your trial, so you should remain silent during the process. Don’t answer any questions save for basic identification questions such as your name without your lawyer present. Your defense attorney will be able to determine whether or not the questions you are asked or the answers you might provide would be used to criminalize you.
Call your defense attorney
After you have called a family member or friend to potentially bail you out of jail, contact a defense attorney to assist you during your questioning and trial. Whether you choose to use private attorneys or a public defense lawyer, a defense attorney can’t be anything but beneficial, especially when you know you’re guilty of a crime.
A defense attorney understands the justice system, the paperwork, the due dates, and whether or not something said or done is legal. Additionally, a defense attorney can potentially help you in getting a deal in the event that your case may lose in court.
Understand the consequences within your University
After the criminal justice process has finished, you may be met with additional reprimands or expulsion from your college. Oftentimes, college students will appear before a board of faculty members where they will be judged as they would otherwise be in the court of law. However, the difference is that college courts are not legal courts and therefore if found guilty you may be facing anything between a reprimand that becomes a notation on your file or an expulsion from the university itself.
In any case, it is the college’s decision over all whether or not you can continue to attend the school. College may be a place of young adults, but it is also a place of business, and the students who attend are to be treated as adults. Therefore, if you have been arrested while on campus, contact a defense attorney as soon as possible and understand the potential consequences that may result should you return to your university after trial.