10 Common Crimes Committed in College

Crimes committed in college can sometimes be pretty synonymous with drinking and experimenting with drugs. The majority of crimes committed by college students on this list have to do with drinking and being drunk. While many of these offenses depend on jurisdiction and laws and sentencing vary by state, sometimes they can be generally put into the same categories. It is always best to limit yourself and be aware of the law to avoid these all too common offenses:

Public Urination- Public urination has occurred when a person has urinated or defecated in a public place other than a restroom and usually results in a misdemeanor. This offense can carry a sentence of no more than 1 year in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $1000 and/or community service. Public urination is pretty common among college students on and off campus as they are unable or do not want to hold their urges to go to the bathroom.

PI- Public Intoxication occurs when a person appears in public under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to the degree that he or she is a danger to himself/herself and/or others. Depending on the severity of the situation public intoxication is usually considered a misdemeanor offense and can be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine and counseling.

Disorderly conduct- While disorderly conduct can also be associated with being drunk in public it can also be given to someone for behaving in disruptive manners, fighting, behaving erratically, and engaging in lewd acts in public, amongst others. Depending on the severity of the case disorderly conduct charges can be tried as misdemeanors or felonies and the penalties can start with a small fine or up to jail time and/or larger fines.

DWI- Driving while intoxicated occurs when a person is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A DWI is a pretty serious offense and can be punishable by jail time, fines, loss of drivers license, court ordered counseling, community services, and others. Studies show about 1,700 college students aged 18-24 die in alcohol related accidents each year. Additionally, a recent college survey showed 25% of college students admitted to driving after drinking in the past month.

MIP- A Minor in possession occurs when a person who is under the legal drinking age is caught in possession of alcohol and sometimes just for drinking. MIP’s are usually ticketed and fined between $100-500, which can usually be lowered by doing community service or completing some sort of alcohol counseling course. Some states suspend driver’s licenses from a period of 30 days up to a year.

Possession of Marijuana or drug paraphernalia- Depending on how much the person is caught with, the penalties can become very severe. If he/she is caught with a very small amount the offense is usually considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine and in some cases up to 30 days in jail. Marijuana is the second most used drug, behind alcohol, in college students and according to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 48% of college students have used marijuana.

Hazing- Hazing is a ritual or other activity involving harassment, humiliation, and sometimes abuse as a means of initiation of one into a certain group. A National Hazing survey suggests that more than half of college students in clubs and organizations experience hazing. Hazing has resulted in several deaths and serious injury across colleges in the U.S. and is considered a felony in many states.

Noise Ordinance violation- A noise ordinance violation disturbs a person of reasonable sensitivities and exceeds the sound level limit set forth by the ordinance. These ordinances vary greatly by community and campus but are usually pretty common amongst parties thrown by college students. At first, there is usually no penalty as it is common to be given warnings. Several violations or failure to control noise can result in fines not to exceed $500.

Jaywalking- Jaywalking is a term used to describe when a pedestrian illegally, carelessly, or without the right-of-way crosses a roadway. While jaywalking is not one of the most serious offenses, people ticketed for jaywalking can be fined up to $250.

Rape- A rape occurs when a person has assaulted another involving sexual intercourse without the person’s consent. Rape is the most common violent crime committed on American campuses today. Since there are several different classes and types of rapes it is hard to give an accurate sentence to rape but it can be punishable by up to 99 years in prison. College stats show that 1 in 4 college females surveyed are victims of rape or attempted rape with 85% of those being acquaintance rapes.