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Kids and college: How to avoid criminal charges

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2022 | Criminal Law

Heading off to college is exciting and terrifying. It is an important step towards figuring out who you are and what impact you will make in the world. But whether looking at this chapter in life through the eyes of the kid heading off to college or the parent sending their child to university, there are some things that are more concerning today than they were in the past.

Our smart phones provide a tool to stay in contact in a way that surpasses the traditional phone. We can have video calls or Zoom meetings and provide updates through social media sites. Unfortunately, this can also result in evidence of the not-so-great choices that often come with college life and although it may feel like college life is in a bubble, the reality is that some of this poor judgement calls can lead to allegations of criminal wrongdoing that stick with us long after graduation.

What are the most common criminal charges for college students?

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that an average of almost 20 per 10,000 full-time students will face allegations of criminal activity. These allegations most often include:

  • Sexual assault. The penalties for a conviction vary depending on the details of the alleged crime and the state. In Oklahoma, these crimes can result in imprisonment. In some cases, the courts will consider the death penalty for an allegation of first-degree rape.
  • Burglary. Oklahoma also allows prison time for these crimes, with a conviction coming with five to twenty years imprisonment.
  • Motor vehicle theft. Generally referred to as larceny in Oklahoma, the penalty varies depending on the value of the stolen object. Objects ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 can lead to felony charges and up to five years imprisonment, if over $15,0000 the penalty goes up to 8 years imprisonment.

What may seem like a relatively minor accusations can have consequences that extend far past campus life. These allegations rarely just go away. It is important to take any allegations seriously and talk to an attorney about your options.