Heading back to college often has students feeling different things. Some may be excited while others are anxious, stressed, or even homesick. After all, they’re stepping into adulthood to enjoy a somewhat more independent life. College life may involve a myriad of decisions taken on the spot, including possibly those related to keeping their freedom or not. Crimes happen while attending college. Let’s explore some of the most common crimes local police arrest college students for, and often.
In the U.S. nearly 29,000 crimes occurred on college campuses in 2017 according to the National Center for Education Statistics (full report below). These crimes were either committed by college students or took place on campus. In Connecticut, local police arrested or at least fined college students for a wide variety of crimes, from using fake IDs to throwing large, wild parties on-campus. Students accused of hate crimes have faced arrests at UConn, while a Connecticut college student have been accused of voyeurism. Other crimes local police arrest college students for are related to more serious crimes including felonies like assault, rape, manslaughter, and even murder.
Here are some of the most common crimes, police arrest college students for or in some cases issue fines. The following information refers to the state of Connecticut only. See what consequences Connecticut college students may face when arrested accused of these crimes.
Most Common Crimes Local Police May Arrest College Students in Connecticut
The following list provides an idea of the most common crimes local police arrest college students in the area. The severity of charges and where the crime has occurred on-campus or off-campus may affect the bail amount.
- Underage Drinking, Possession of Alcohol as a Minor, and Possession of Alcohol on a College Campus
- Drinking and Driving
- Illegal Drug Possession
- Disorderly Conduct and Disrupting the Peace
- Theft, Burglaries, and Robberies
- Sexual Assault and Rape
- Breaking COVID-19 Guidelines
1. Underage Drinking, Possession of Alcohol as a Minor, and Possession of Alcohol on a College Campus
Some of the most frequently committed crimes by students are ones related to alcohol. Underage drinking, possession of alcohol as a minor, and possession of alcohol on a college campus are seen nearly everywhere around the country. Under Connecticut state law, the first violation of this constitutes a $136 fine and increases to $200-$500 fines for multiple offenses. Drivers’ licenses can also be suspended because of this, and depending on the severity, students can be arrested and even be subject to time in jail.
2. Drinking and Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol is another common college crime students face, according to police. Consequences of an OUI or DUI under Connecticut laws can lead to a suspended driver’s license to years of jail time. For students under the age of 21, the first offense subjects them to the possibility of serving one year in jail. The second offense could be two years, and the third or a subsequent offense is three years. For students over the age of 21, consequences are harsh, too. Some convictions still constitute possible jail time. The first offense is 6 months, the second is a year, and the third or any additional offenses are two years.
3. Illegal Drug Possession
For the majority of college campuses in Connecticut, possession of drugs on campus grounds, including marijuana, is prohibited. Students who are found to be in possession of illegal drugs could face serious charges. According to Attorney Brian Woolf of East Hartford, CT, “those who are found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana can be cited for a civil violation and may face fines of up to $150 for a first offense and $500 for a second offense. Possession of greater amounts of the drug is still a crime, however, and a conviction could lead to $2000 in fines and up to a year in jail.”
Some federally funded schools could pursue federal and state charges when it comes to drug possession and or possession with intent to sell. Fines for these offenses are expensive.
*Click here to see an example of drug possession policies from the University of Connecticut (UCONN).
4. Disorderly Conduct and Disrupting the Peace
In Connecticut, disorderly conduct includes anything that intends to cause inconveniences, annoyance, alarm, or risk to others. This can include fights, unreasonably loud noises (noise complaints), refusing to comply with officials or resisting arrest, and trespassing. As this crime is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor, it could constitute a 3-month jail sentence with a $500 fine. This is often the top reason police gets called to college campuses. Late night parties sometimes leads to crimes local police arrest college students for.
5. Theft, Burglaries, and Robberies
Thefts, burglaries, and robberies can be considered misdemeanors or felonies. The severity of the charges depends on the value of what was stolen and how. Sixth-degree larceny, the lowest, is when property stolen is less than $500. If convicted, the fine for this is the same amount, $500, or a 3-month jail sentence, or both. On the other hand, a first-degree burglary charge is a class B felony, punishable by one to 20 years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine. Another form of theft is robbery. In Connecticut, robbery charges carry harsh legal penalties regardless of the degree and mark your record if convicted.
6. Sexual Assault and Rape
Rape and sexual assault charges against college students are seen quite often as well. Harsh penalties include both school and criminal felony charges. Schools can suspend, expel, or kick students out of school for sexual assault and rape charges. Under Connecticut laws, these crimes can land the defendant in jail for one to five years, with costly fines as well. The assault may also label the defendant as a sex offender for life.
7. Breaking COVID-19 Guidelines
Specific to individual schools, the given COVID-19 guidelines have caused quite a bit of trouble for college students who went back to school in-person last semester. Depending on the school, breaking guidelines, such as holding or attending a large gathering or leaving campus when you aren’t supposed to, can cause a student to be sent off-campus. Other consequences can include suspension and expulsion, as well as no tuition refunds for the student.
See the National Center for Education Statistics Report, the report shares statistics of crimes local police arrest college students for on-campus, including sex offenses and hate crimes.
Between 2001 and 2017, the overall number of reported on-campus crimes decreased by 31 percent. During this period, the number of reported on-campus crimes increased by 7 percent between 2001 and 2006 (from 41,600 to 44,500), decreased by 40 percent between 2006 and 2014 (from 44,500 to 26,800), and finally increased by 8 percent between 2014 and 2017 (from 26,800 to 28,900). This recent increase was driven primarily by the increase in the number of reported forcible sex offenses.
The number of on-campus crimes reported in 2017 was lower than the number reported in 2001 for every category except forcible sex offenses, murder, and negligent manslaughter. The number of reported forcible sex offenses on campus increased from 2,200 in 2001 to 10,400 in 2017 (a 372 percent increase). More recently, the number of reported forcible sex offenses increased by 16 percent between 2016 and 2017 (from 8,900 to 10,400).
In 2017, of the criminal incidents on the campuses of postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies, 958 incidents were classified as hate crimes. The three most common types of hate crimes reported by institutions were destruction, damage, and vandalism (437 incidents; hereafter referred to as “vandalism” in this Fast Fact), intimidation (385 incidents), and simple assault (83 incidents). Other reported hate crimes included larceny (24 incidents), aggravated assault (15 incidents), forcible sex offenses (6 incidents), burglary (3 incidents), and robbery (2 incidents), as well as murder, motor vehicle theft, and arson (1 incident each). No nonforcible sex offenses were classified as hate crimes in 2017.
While most crimes local police arrest college students for vary from one to another, these arrests would possibly impact the student’s life on campus and even after college. When facing any type of criminal charges as college students, it’s essential to get legal advice and if needed to post bail as soon as possible. To learn more about what to do following an arrest, check this article. For immediate bail bonds for UCONN police, CCSU police, Yale University police, and any other city in the state of Connecticut, reach out to one of our 24-hour agents at 3-D Bail Bonds. Open 24 hours a day, their team offers an immediate response with bondsmen near you.