College Students: What You Need to Know If You’re Accused of a Crime in Virginia

Kids—including college students—make mistakes. In 2019, people aged 18 to 24 had the second-highest number of arrests in Virginia of any age group. That year, 59,748 people Numerous College Kids Walking on Campusbetween the ages of 18 and 24 were arrested, and some of them were college students.

After an arrest, a person’s entire future can change. A criminal conviction may not only result in a jail sentence and fine, but it could also impact a person’s ability to finish their degree, get into graduate school, or get a job.

College Crimes

Any crime committed on a college campus or at a college-sponsored event may be considered a school-related crime. Generally, these crimes are categorized by the FBI and the Commonwealth of Virginia as crimes against persons, crimes against property, and crimes against society.

Crimes Against Persons

Crimes against other people include:

  • Assaults, which were the most common type of crimes against persons committed by 18- to 24-year-olds in Virginia during 2019
     
  • Sex crimes including rape
     
  • Kidnapping

Other crimes against people may include murder, manslaughter, and intimidation.

Crimes Against Property

Common crimes against property on college campuses include:

Other crimes against property may include embezzlement, extortion, and wire fraud.

In 2019, shoplifting and larceny were the most common reasons for crimes against property arrests of people age 18 to 24 in Virginia.

Crimes Against Society

Crimes against society may hurt society generally or more than one person specifically and include:

Crimes against society may also include trespassing, loitering, and betting or gambling.

Drugs, DUI, and drunkenness were the most common crimes against society arrests for 18- to 24-year-olds in Virginia during 2019.

A Criminal Prosecution Is Different Than a Student Disciplinary Hearing

Whether you are arrested on or off campus, your alleged crime may be reported to your Virginia college or university. Your school may decide to initiate a student disciplinary hearing if you violated the school’s code of conduct. Disciplinary hearings can have significant consequences and may even end your matriculation at an institution of higher learning. However, your school does not have the authority to convict you of a crime or send you to jail.

Depending on your crime, your case may be referred to the Commonwealth of Virginia for a state prosecution or the United States of America for a federal prosecution. If this happens, then you will be arrested and the official criminal case will commence. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you at each stage of the case—from before the time you are arrested until the final appeal—to make sure that all of your legal rights are protected and that you don’t pay a penalty that is harsher than you deserve.

Call an Experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

A conviction will be part of a college student’s permanent record. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact an experienced defense lawyer if you or your child are arrested or you think an arrest is coming. Whether you live in Virginia or attend school in Virginia, our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers are here to help you.

You deserve every chance at a happy and productive future. Please take the allegations or charges against you seriously and do everything you can to protect your rights and prepare an honest and accurate defense.

Our staff is here and ready to answer your initial questions and to schedule a consultation with our experienced Northern Virginia criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. Our lawyers have more than 80 years of combined trial experience. We aren’t afraid of tough cases, and we pledge to provide you with a realistic view of your case so that you always know what to expect. Call us or reach out to us through this website to learn more.