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Common Charges on Virginia College Campuses

Because colleges have their codes of conduct and rules in addition to statewide laws, it is possible for a student on a college campus to face both university disciplinary action and criminal charges. Speak with a Virginia student defense lawyer who can represent you with your university and local authorities.

Destruction of Property in Virginia

Intentional destruction of property in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or $2500 in fines. The repercussions of destruction of property at the university or college level could range from reprimands or loss of privileges to the loss of ability to take classes, suspension or expulsion. Since it is also a criminal offense in Virginia, it is possible that criminal charges will be brought rather than school charges, or in addition to school charges.

Theft Charges on Virginia Campuses

Theft charges can range from allegation of theft of property that belongs to the school or property that belongs to another student who may live in the same dorm or in the same floor. Thefts can range from misdemeanors or felonies in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Misdemeanor theft or petty larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or fines of $2500. Grand larceny is theft of property valued at $200 or more and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Theft encompasses a wide range of conduct.

It is also possible that allegations of theft on campus go no further than the administrative process. Perhaps it is just a complaint by another student and that does not go beyond administrative hearings and it never gets to criminal courts. Or it could be a serious larceny or felony offense that will go to law enforcement personnel and possibly lead to criminal charges.

Noise Violations

Noise violations on campus are complaints from neighbors or people living in the same dorm and usually go to the campus police. The campus police will be called out to the area to investigate and can make a decision whether to cite the individual for the infraction.

Another thing to be aware of is that during an investigation of the noise complaint, depending on what the police observe when they arrive, further investigation could take place for things like underage drinking or possession of illegal drugs like marijuana. That then could lead to further criminal charges against individuals in Virginia.

Trespassing on College Campuses

Trespassing is a general term, but it is described as the entering of premises where someone is not allowed to be, for which they have been put on notice. If it is private property and there is a no trespassing sign, any individual who does not have authority to enter the premises would be violating a criminal law by doing so.

Also, some universities will have policies that only residents of dorms and their guests can enter specific dorms. Once an individual is notified that they are no longer allowed to be on the premises, if they come back then they are committing a crime of trespassing.

There are two major types of trespassing in the Commonwealth of Virginia. There is trespassing and then there is something called an unlawful entry. Trespassing could be entering on the land of another without legal authority or justification to do so when someone has been advised that they are not allowed to do so. That is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and or a $2500 fine. Unlawful entry is entering a property without legal authority to do so. That is also a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A student who is facing either disciplinary action from their university of criminal charges for any of the aforementioned activities should seek out an experienced Virginia student defense attorney for representation as soon as possible to begin defending their rights.