Student Crimes

November 12, 2018By Brian Manchester

Every parent wants their child to reach their full potential. However, your child’s future can be seriously compromised if he or she is accused of committing a crime, or accused of violating a high school, college, or university’s Code of Conduct. Depending on the type of allegation, your child may be required to attend a student disciplinary hearing and could potentially be criminally prosecuted. Irrespective of whether the allegations are mere violations of school policy or involve breaking state or federal law, your child needs aggressive legal representation to preserve and defend their future if charged with student crimes.

Common Student Crimes

Student disciplinary hearings can stem from behavior either on or off campus. The hearing may be instigated in one of several ways, for instance, an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct, or by a similar group or department. If the alleged behavior is criminalized, for example, assault, rape, or theft of property, criminal charges may be filed by a prosecutor.

Students are commonly charged with or accused of several code violations and criminal offenses, which can include:

  • Alcohol-Related Charges
  • Intoxicated Driving
  • Public Intoxication
  • Underage Drinking
  • Drug Possession and Distribution
  • Cocaine Possession
  • Ecstasy Possession
  • LSD Possession
  • Marijuana Possession
  • Selling Marijuana
  • Drunk Driving/Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Breathalyzer Refusal
  • Marijuana DUI
  • Open Container Violations
  • Fake ID Charges
  • Making Fake IDs
  • Selling Fake IDs
  • Using a Fake ID to Buy Alcohol
  • Sex Crimes
  • Rape
  • Revenge Porn Offenses
  • Sexual Assault
  • Statutory Sexual Assault (Statutory Rape)

Other Offenses:

  • Bomb Threats
  • Cheating
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Gun Possession/Possession of Weapons
  • Hate Crimes
  • Hazing
  • Identity Theft
  • Plagiarism
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalism/Destruction of Property

Penalties for Violating a School’s Code of Conduct

The punishment for violating a student Code of Conduct – or for breaking state or federal laws – is varied and depends on factors like:

  • School policies, if the matter is non-criminal.
  • The severity of the alleged offense.
  • The student’s history and background.
  • Whether there were aggravating or mitigating factors.

Depending on the specific policies at the particular academic institution, the school may impose a variety of sanctions ranging from minor punishments to permanent expulsion. These potential punishments could include:

  • Expulsion
  • Letters of Reprimand
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Transcript Notations
  • Written Warnings

If law enforcement and prosecutors become involved in the investigation and charges are filed, the student can face much graver consequences. The consequences are particularly grave if the student is 18 or older, and if the charge is especially serious. The penalties for a criminal offense depend largely on whether the crime is a felony, summary offense, or a misdemeanor, as well as the degree of felony or misdemeanor. The criminal penalties for these offenses depends on the severity of the charges, the student’s age and history, and other factors. These penalties could include fines and restitution, mandatory community service, probation, and even jail or prison time. Further, there are certain allegations that cause a juvenile to be charged and tried as an adult.


Both parents and students need to remember that every scholastic institution has its own procedure for dealing with student Code of Conduct violations. Hiring a defense attorney who understands the procedures and regulations used at your child’s school is paramount.

If You or a Loved One Are Facing Charges While in School – Call Now!

If your son, daughter, or grandchild was arrested and charged with a crime at college, or is under investigation for suspected violations of their school’s Code of Conduct, defense attorney Brian Manchester is ready to fight aggressively to protect their rights. For a free and confidential legal consultation about a student hearing or criminal charge against a student or minor, contact our law offices at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: Title IX/Student Discipline blog

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About the Author

Brian Manchester is the owner of Manchester and Associates in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. His law firm practices DUI and Criminal Defense exclusively throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania in both state and federal court. He has a team of two other lawyers with a combined 50 years of trial and courtroom experience are also trained in science and many other skills that are relevant to criminal defense to include the psychology of persuasion as well. One of his associates is a former District Attorney (chief prosecutor) in central Pennsylvania.   Mr. Manchester and his team routinely handle serious felony cases including murder, manslaughter, sex crimes, complex financial crimes, and serious assaults. A large part of Mr. Manchester’s practice is the defense of alcohol and drug-based DUI offenses as well as drug cases using science and analytical chemistry. Mr. Manchester has training as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor. He is one of a handful of Certified Lawyer-Scientists as recognized by the American Chemical Society in the United States. He is a member of NCDD and is a Founding Member of DUIDLA. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society with over 170,000 members across the world. To date, he is the only practicing criminal defense lawyer to belong to the Society of Forensic Toxicologist where he is an Associate Member. Mr. Manchester speaks nationally on the topic of blood and drug testing for alcohol as well as the metrological (measurement uncertainty) in forensic testing.

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