Heading off to college is a time of growth and excitement, but it can also be a time when many young people make mistakes. As your son or daughter prepares to move on campus or live at school, it’s important that he or she know how to properly deal with campus police. Knowing what to do in case of questioning or a problem can help them protect their own rights and interests.
Campus police are there to protect and support students who live on campus, but there may be limits to their authority. When a student is facing accusations of wrongdoing or even facing criminal charges, he or she will find it beneficial to work with a South Carolina legal professional who understands the limits of campus police and how to protect student rights. When a college student is in trouble, his or her education, future opportunities and personal freedoms could be at stake.
Questions about campus police
There are a few questions that can help you understand the role of campus police and what to do when under questioning. Most schools have strict rules regarding student behavior and moral codes, and even a minor problem could result in a suspension or even expulsion. The following are common questions people have about campus police:
- Are they real police? In some cases, campus police are local police contracted to work with the college or university. Other times, they are essentially security guards. They may not have the authority to detain and question, but they may be able to conduct certain types of searches.
- Should you talk to them? Regardless of whether campus police are real officers of the law, you have the right to remain silent. You can also ask for legal support. Some schools may bring penalties against students who are uncooperative.
- Is your dorm room private? You have right to a reasonable expectation of privacy while living on campus. However, most schools do retain the right to search dorm rooms if there is suspected drug use or other allegations against a student.
One of the most important things a college student can do when in legal trouble is to ask for an attorney. There is a lot on the line for a young person facing criminal allegations or serious administrative penalties. With the right legal support, it may be possible to fight back, keep the student’s criminal record clean and mitigate penalties.