While most people envision college as a carefree time where young people gain the skills to succeed in life, they fail to realize that there are many ways for a student's education and life to get derailed along the way. Situations arise at parties, frat houses, bars, campus events and dorm rooms that lead to criminal charges and threaten a student's ability to remain in school, as well as his or her freedom and future. With so much on the line, it is imperative to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer with a history of success in matters involving college crime.Experienced Advocates Protecting Your Future
At Bellotti Law Group, P.C., we have successfully defended thousands of clients throughout Massachusetts in cases involving accusations of college crime and all other types of criminal offenses. We represent students in both criminal court and at university disciplinary hearings, offering them the comprehensive services that they need to mitigate or prevent the damage that allegations of criminal conduct may cause.
If you, or your son or daughter, have been charged with these or any other type of crime, contact us as soon as possible to get our decades of legal experience on your side and make sure your rights and your future are protected.Common Charges Leveled Against College Students
Massachusetts is renowned for its many colleges and universities, including Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, MIT and the schools in the University of Massachusetts system. No matter how large or prestigious the school, though, students can be charged with a wide range of criminal offenses. Some of the most common charges that college students face include:
- Date rape
- Sexual assault
- Underage drinking
- Open container offenses
- Possession of a fake ID
- Procuring alcohol for minors
- Drunk and disorderly
- Drug possession
- Possession of drugs with intent to distribute
With so much at stake in these and other criminal cases, you need an experienced attorney involved in the case from day one. We stand by your side through all stages of the process, and work diligently to clear your name.
How Can Campus Safety Be Enhanced For College Students?
1. Advocate for a mass notification system: Most college campuses already have some form of text-based notification system to alert students about adverse weather or emergency situations. If yours doesn't, suggesting an affordable solution could be beneficial.
2. Identify high-crime areas: Large campuses, especially those of major state institutions, often have expansive fields and dimly lit streets where crime is more likely to occur. Students can lobby for additional lighting or alert systems. Even budget-restricted campuses could increase campus police patrols in these specific areas.
3. Initiate campus watch programs: Much like neighborhood watch initiatives, campus watch programs encourage students to look out for each other. Areas with high populations, such as freshman dorms or off-campus housing, are ideal for establishing such programs.
4. Promote safety-focused apps: Numerous apps designed to prevent theft or sexual assault are available for free on smartphones. These apps may provide features like emergency call buttons or turning the camera flash into a bright light.
5. Establish a self-defense class: An economical way to boost student awareness and teach basic self-defense techniques is by bringing in a local instructor. This often attracts new students to their martial arts academy. Some campuses even combine self-defense classes with counseling programs to support survivors of sexual violence.
6. Ensure crime reports are filed: The Clery Act, passed in 1986, mandates that all campuses report crimes occurring on their premises. Some colleges might try to hide this data, but student advocacy can make this information more accessible.
7. Implement an escort program: Students walking home from bars or late-night classes are at increased risk. Escort programs enlist responsible students to accompany their peers during these vulnerable hours.
8. Encourage door-locking: Whether it's a car or dorm room, students should always secure their property. Theft is a pervasive issue, even on smaller campuses.
Creating awareness is a critical aspect of combating campus crime. Students can be powerful activists, but they must first be informed about the realities on their campus. Once they understand the risks, many will passionately advocate for safety, recognizing the potential dangers they and their peers face.
With offices in Boston, Quincy and Cambridge, Bellotti Law Group, P.C., serves the needs of college students accused of crimes throughout Massachusetts. Call 617-225-2100 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with our Boston college crime attorneys.