Lancaster College Crimes Lawyers
The York Daily Record headlined in 2017 that “Few states have reported as much college crime as Pennsylvania.” The article noted that in 2015, 1,701 crimes were reported by Pennsylvania colleges—one of the highest figures in the entire nation, although when adjusted for the number of students in the state, Pennsylvania dropped to number 14.
Some believe that it is not that Pennsylvania colleges have that much more crime, rather the colleges in the state are simply better at reporting those crimes. Possibly due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, college officials in the state have improved their reporting and tracking of college crimes—other states may not be as thorough in their reporting. Either case, if you or a family member is facing citations, charges, arrest or criminal prosecution it will likely have significant ramifications on your ability to get into college, stay in college and or gravely prejudice or damage your future prospects. As soon as you fear you are the suspect in a case or facing the prospect of a criminal investigation or charges, act immediately to protect you or a loved one’s future. Contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices legal team, fighting for students throughout Lancaster County. Contact us by email, chat or (717) 291-9400.
Get Experienced Advice, Guidance and Representation to Protect your Future
Further speculation on the high Pennsylvania college crime numbers indicate that there is no differentiation between major and minor crimes—in other words, a burglary is reported the same as a rape. Campuses which break down the data in different ways may show lower numbers. Finally, the state of Pennsylvania has a mix of urban and suburban colleges with the urban schools having higher crime rates.
Whether it is actually college students committing the bulk of the crimes is not specified, however college students can and do find themselves in trouble from time to time. While college students are not children anymore, they are not entirely adults either and can exhibit bad judgment from time to time. When they do make a mistake, it is important for parents to speak to a knowledgeable Lancaster college crime attorney who can minimize the damage from that mistake.
When you’re charged with committing a crime in college in Lancaster, we are here to help you through this difficult time. Our team of criminal defense attorneys have the experience, passion, and consideration to give you the best possible results. Contact us today at (717) 291-9400 or (877) 529-2422. Our Lancaster Office is located at 313 West Liberty Place, Lancaster PA 17603.
A Lancaster Criminal Defense Law Firm Can Protect Your Child’s Future
A Lancaster criminal charge can potentially derail any person’s future but for Pennsylvania college students, the consequences can be particularly devastating. Depending on the crime, the student who is convicted of a criminal offense can face significant fines, months or years in jail or prison and can be asked to pay victim restitution.
In addition to criminal penalties, there are a multitude of collateral consequences the student can face, including being expelled or suspended from college, losing a job or being unable to secure employment, losing an internship, losing a scholarship, and, in effect, setting the student’s future back by many years. In short, everything your child has worked hard to achieve can be lost if swift action is not taken to protect his or her future. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Lancaster criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.
Seeking the Best Lancaster PA Criminal Lawyers for your Student
Its only natural you want the best for your son or daughter and you wish to seek the best Lancaster PA Criminal Lawyer you can find. Be determined to find a team of lawyers with the experience and desire to fight for the best possible resorts. Although any person can be charged with a criminal offense, regardless of age, there are certain criminal offenses which tend to be more prevalent among young adults and college students including the following:
● Disorderly conduct
● DUI with drugs
● Possession of marijuana
● Possession of cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin or LSD
● Possession of prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, Xanax, Percocet or OxyContin
● Possession of Psilocybin mushrooms
● Violations of the Open Container Law
● Sex crimes such as rape and sexual assault
● Indecent exposure
● Revenge porn offenses
● Theft and other property crimes
● Criminal mischief (vandalism)
● Simple assault
● Weapons possession
● Underage drinking/false IDs
● Resisting arrest
Fighting Underage Drinking Crimes in Lancaster
Underage drinking crimes are particularly common on college campuses, whether the student is caught with a beer at a party, the police found alcohol in his or her vehicle, or the student was simply present at a party where alcohol was being served. Pennsylvania underage drinking is found under Section 6308 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. The statute prohibits those under the age of 21 from “consuming, possessing, transporting, buying or attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages.” Those found guilty of underage drinking could potentially (although unlikely) be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail as a summary offense.
The criminal record cannot be expunged until the student turns 21, at which time the expungement process will take between 6-9 months. While underage drinking is “only” a summary offense, the fines can be $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second offense, along with court costs. Perhaps even worse, there can be a significant impact on job and educational opportunities because of an underage drinking conviction. Some underage alcohol offenses, along with the corresponding Pennsylvania Statute include:
● Purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of alcohol (Underage Drinking)—18 Pa. C.S.A. § 6308
● Misrepresenting one’s age in order to secure alcohol—18 Pa. C.S.A. § 6307
● Using a false identification card—18 Pa. C.S.A. § 6310.3
● Being drunk in public—18 Pa. C.S.A. § 5505
● Furnishing alcohol to a minor—18 Pa. C.S.A. § 6310.1
● DUI for a minor with a BAC of 0.02 percent and above—75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3802(e)
● Disorderly Conduct—18 pa. C.S.A. § 5503
The Impact of Possession of Marijuana Crimes on A Lancaster County Campus
Possession of marijuana is also a common criminal charge against college students. While the laws have changed somewhat for possession of small amounts of marijuana, the charges should not be taken lightly as a conviction can result in the loss of the student’s driver’s license as well as a permanent criminal record. To prove the charge of Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana, the Commonwealth is required to establish the student had direct or constructive possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana. Direct possession occurs when the drug is found on the student’s person while constructive possession applies when the drug is found in an area “controlled” by the student, such as his or her home or vehicle. Some Pennsylvania counties tend to be more lenient than others when it comes to marijuana possession, however the following penalties could apply:
● First offense of Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana—Up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $500, a permanent criminal record and a driver’s license suspicion for 6 months.
● Second offense of Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana—Up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $500, a permanent criminal record and a driver’s license suspicion for one year.
● Third offense of Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana—Up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $500, a permanent criminal record and a mandatory two-year driver’s license suspicion.
It is important that your student not fight his or her possession case alone. An experienced Lancaster college crimes attorney can use negotiation skills to secure entry into various diversionary and pre-trial programs such as:
● Your child could possibly plea to a Non-Traffic Citation at the Magistrate’s Office, resulting in fines and courts costs only.
● Your child could gain entry into the ARD Program which could lead to a dismissal of the charges and expungement of the criminal record.
● Your Lancaster attorney could fight for a Not Guilty verdict.
● Your child could take part in a PWV Program (Probation Without Verdict) which could lead to a dismissal of charges and expungement of the criminal record.
Legal Help for Students at Franklin & Marshall or Millersville Universities
Collegefactual.com surveyed colleges across the United States to determine the level of crime at each college. At least one-third of those surveyed either did not report criminal activity on campus or reported no criminal activity at all. No crime sounds nice but is probably more indicative of lax reporting than a safer school. Conversely, a higher incidence of reported crime could mean the school is stricter about reporting. In 2017, Franklin and Marshall College reported 168 safety-related incidents involving students on or near campus—of the 2,795 colleges and universities which did report their crime and safety data, 2,271 reported fewer incidents than Franklin and Marshall College.
Based on the student body at Franklin and Marshall, the number of reported crimes worked out to about 74.70 reports per thousand students. It needs to be noted that the crime and safety “incidents” fall into four broad categories: Disciplinary actions, arrests for possession, violence against women and arrests for major crimes. The arrests for major crimes at Franklin and Marshall represented 17.9 percent of all incidents, while the arrests for possession represented 2.4 percent of all incidents, and violence against women represented 3.6 percent of all incidents.
In 2017, Millersville University of Pennsylvania reported 292 safety-related incidents; of the 2,795 colleges and universities that reported crime and safety data, 2,472 reported fewer incidents than this. This worked out to about 36.69 reports per thousand students. By category, arrests for possession represented about 37.0 percent of all incidents, violence against women represented about 1.7 percent of all incidents and arrests for major crimes represented 2.7 percent of all incidents. These statistics suggest that possession of an illegal substance either occurs much more often or is reported much more often at Millersville University than at Franklin & Marshall.
A Law Firm Ready to Take on the Lancaster County District Attorneys
In the state of Pennsylvania, there are two criminal justice systems—the system through which adult defendants are processed and a separate juvenile justice system for minors. Minors as young as 14 can be tried as adults in Pennsylvania, depending on the circumstances. Since most college students are age 18 or older, the majority of them will face adult court procedures and adult penalties. The penalties for a criminal conviction depend heavily on how that crime is categorized or graded. There are three broad categories of criminal offenses in the state: felonies, misdemeanors and summary offenses.
Misdemeanors are further divided into three subcategories—first-degree, second-degree and third-degree misdemeanors, with first-degree being the most serious. Felonies are likewise split into three subgroups—first-degree, second-degree and third-degree. A first-degree felony is the most serious among the non-capital felony offenses. A summary offense is the least-serious offense, with the potential for a maximum fine of $300, and a maximum jail sentence of 90 days.
It is important to remember that there are statutes in the state which create exceptions to certain penalties, specifying that harsher punishments can—or must—be imposed. Judges are also allowed to require penalties such as mandatory community service or counseling or suspension of the offender’s license.
What if You are an Out-of-State College Student Charged with a Criminal Offense?
If you are a student attending college in Pennsylvania from another state or country, it can be particularly frightening to be charged to be charged with a criminal offense because you may not have family members close who can help you through this difficult time. Further, Pennsylvania has unique laws regarding underage drinking, DUI, marijuana possession and other criminal charges which could be vastly different from those in your home state. It is important to let your parents or guardians know about your situation as quickly as possible.
Parents will want to speak to a Pennsylvania attorney who is familiar with the Pennsylvania justice system which will give your child the best chance possible for a positive outcome to the charges. While it may be inconvenient for you in the beginning, it will be better for your child to have a Lancaster attorney who both knows the local judges and prosecutors and will be close for your child when meetings are necessary.
Depending on the offense charged, your Lancaster college crimes attorney may be able to obtain positive results through access to diversionary programs such as:
● Probation Without Verdict for certain drug offenses
● Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for first-time offenders
● Plea to reduce misdemeanor and felony offenses to a summary offense
● Completion of community service or a Drug and Alcohol Assessment in return for a Case Withdrawal Agreement
The circumstances surrounding your child’s criminal offense are unique. It is extremely important that a knowledgeable Lancaster criminal defense attorney who has experience in college crimes get involved in the case as quickly as possible for the best possible outlook.
Contact Our Lancaster Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are facing charges for committing a crime in college or university in Lancaster, it is important to know the severity of these charges and the penalties you will face. The highly experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you during this difficult time. We will fight aggressively for your rights and freedom and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the legal process. Contact the Ciccarelli Law Offices today by email or by phone at (717) 291-9400 or (877) 529-2422 immediately to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.
Student Crimes in Lancaster PA
We are criminal defense lawyers that defend and protect high school and college students in Lancaster County PA. If you or your student is facing the prospect of criminal charges or citations or you belief you are the suspect of a criminal inspection, immediately call the criminal defense attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices for a free consultation. Our Lancaster County student crimes attorneys have represented individuals accused of crimes throughout Lancaster County, including: Lancaster, Ephrata, Elizabethtown, Columbia, Lititz, Millersville, Willow Street, Mount Joy, Leola, New Holland, Manheim, East Petersburg, Akron, Denver, Maytown, Reamstown, Brownstown, Strasburg, Mountville, Salunga, Marletta, Quarryville, Swartzville, and Bowmansville. Call our Lancaster office at (717) 291-9400 to schedule your consultation.