Substance Related Offenses on Campus
While at college, students often enjoy the stress-relieving activity of partying. This can be harmless and fun if done responsibly, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some situations, partying involves binge drinking and the use of illegal drugs. However, choosing to engage in this type of activity can result in a criminal charge.
Illegal drugs also find their way into the daily life of students in some instances. For example, in an attempt to become a greater athlete, one may use steroids to boost their strength. Another common situation is the abuse of prescription drugs to either cope with the stress or focus more on work.
These listed scenarios are a real part of college culture. If an individual chooses to get involved with them, criminal offenses could soon follow making it important a New Haven student defense lawyer is contacted.
Most commonly, alcohol is the leading substance that gets students into trouble with their school and also the law. College is a time when many individuals engage in binge drinking in a variety of situations. When people do so, they tend to get out of control and that can lead to a number of criminal offenses, including assault, sexual assault, and driving under the influence.
Additionally, there are students who attempt to engage in the use of alcohol but are underaged. Many people who are under 21 try to obtain fake IDs and these fake IDs can also lead to criminal charges, including forgery, impersonation, and other violations of state law. Possession of alcohol can also lead to criminal offenses on campus if the person in question is underage.
Drugs or the possession of various narcotics can cause criminal offenses, whether it is cocaine or prescription medications such as painkillers. If an individual does not have proper prescriptions for painkillers or if a person takes more than what is prescribed, they can be charged with possession. Additionally, many college students have been charged with possession with the intent to sell or with the actual sale of those same narcotics or controlled substances. Thus, drugs can give rise to criminal offenses as well as school-related offenses in terms of possession, public intoxication, and possibly distribution.
In Connecticut, substance-related offenses are defined as either misdemeanors or felonies. There are four categories of misdemeanors and five categories of felonies. Each category carries a separate maximum penalty. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is a year in jail and the maximum penalty for felony varies, depending upon the actual felony.
In any criminal offense, the biggest concern is possible incarceration. In addition, there are consequences associated with possible financial fines. Also, there is the impact of probation and collateral impacts such suspended driver’s licenses.
Colleges will also impose their own penalties to any individual charged with a substance related offense. For example, an individual may lose their student loans, scholarships, and or housing.
Contact a Defense Lawyer
Any time an individual is charged with a criminal offense, it is important to contact a defense attorney for a number of reasons. When someone is a student, it is a unique situation. It is important that you contact an attorney familiar with both the school procedures and options, as well as what the options are available for an individual at the criminal court.
An attorney familiar with the school procedures, the actions, the rights afforded to a student, and how the court system will interact with that school is necessary with this situation. An understanding of these factors allows the attorney and student to work together and establish a plan from the very beginning to minimize the substance-related offense consequences associated with the school and the court.