College students facing drug charges could be potentially looking at long-term damage to their educational and professional prospects. Here are some considerations for college students who have been charged with drug possession or sale.
Public universities vs. private universities and drug charges
Public and private schools tend to handle students facing drug charges differently. Private universities are more likely to decline to prosecute students, instead opting for other disciplinary measures such as mandatory counseling. Public universities, on the other hand, are more likely to prosecute charged students the same way the authorities would normally prosecute any drug crime. How you can expect to be treated will largely depend, statistically, on what type of college you are attending.
Do campus police need a warrant?
Most colleges of significant size have their own police forces that enforce the laws. Whereas the police typically require a warrant to search a private residence, the laws governing their conduct on college campuses are quite different. As a result, the Constitutional protections you might expect on private property may not apply there.
The public police factor
Many universities are tightly interwoven from an administrative perspective with the towns that they are situated within. If this is the case, then law enforcement may be more stringent in terms of enforcing drug laws. In some cases, drug charges might even be enhanced for college students caught with drugs on or near campus. The more insulated the campus is, on the other hand, the more lenient the authorities might be in handling drug charges among students.
Because a criminal record can seriously hamper their prospects, college students with pending drug charges must take all possible legal steps to safeguard their futures. Understanding the charges involved can help students determine a viable defense strategy.