While college is an opportunity for young adults to enjoy life outside their parents’ home for the first time and to make mistakes while learning to be an adult before starting their post-college career, some college students end up taking the fun too far. Unfortunately, some college students will engage in behaviors that constitute criminal activity. Here are five of some of the more common offenses that college students are detained or arrested for.
In New Jersey, disorderly conduct may be charged whenever a person causes a public disturbance. Under the state’s disorderly conduct statute, a public disturbance may be created through improper behavior, which may include:
- Threatening to fight
- Engaging in violent or tumultuous behavior
- Creating a dangerous or hazardous condition that serves no legitimate purpose
Disorderly conduct also includes speaking offensive or abusive language in a public place in an unreasonably loud manner with the intent to offend the sensibilities of any person who may hear such language, or in reckless disregard for the fact that listeners may be offended by such language.
Of course, college and university parties often involve copious amounts of alcohol that are freely furnished to attendees regardless of their age. College or university police may break up parties in on-campus housing, while local police may patrol popular off-campus housing areas for parties that may be causing a public disturbance. Students under the age of 21 found at these parties may be charged with underage drinking if they display visible signs of alcohol intoxication.
Because alcohol consumption is a large part of college culture, students may end up driving drunk when they try to head home from parties. While the consequences for DUI/DWI are serious for drivers 21 and older, the penalties for underage DUI are much more severe. In addition, New Jersey has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21, with such drivers being able to be charged with DUI if they have any detectable alcohol in their system.
Possession of Drugs
College students may also choose to partake in illegal drugs while at school, including drugs such as marijuana (which is illegal for persons under the age of 21 to possess or consume) or illicit “party drugs” such as LSD or ecstasy. While illegal possession of marijuana is usually charged as a disorderly persons or misdemeanor offense, possession of “harder” drugs may result in an indictable crime/felony charge that carries serious penalties such as substantial fines and incarceration. However, persons who do not have prior criminal history may be able to resolve simple drug possession charges without conviction or criminal record by successfully completing programs such as drug court or pre-trial intervention.
Street Racing/Reckless Driving
College students who are allowed to keep vehicles on campus may also engage in reckless driving behaviors on and around campus, such as excessive speeding, obstructing traffic, or engaging in street racing. However, unlike other kinds of traffic offenses, reckless driving is considered a criminal offense. A conviction for reckless driving may even result in jail or prison time, especially when an act of reckless driving results in a motor vehicle accident.
Contact an Experienced Marlton Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with offenses in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Office of John B. Brennan has successfully represented clients charged with offenses in Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 988-5443 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 10,000 Lincoln Dr. East, Suite 201, Marlton, NJ 08053.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.