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What should you do if accused of burglary on campus?

The most common crime committed on college campuses nationwide is burglary. This includes crimes of theft that typically happen after breaking into a building or car and stealing items.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone at school is accusing you of theft, you should not face the charges alone. Call your parents and look at your legal options.

Colleges and universities have their own rules

You probably know your school has a public safety department or campus police. When a student is a suspect in a campus-related crime, this internal police force takes over the investigation. Colleges have their own set of rules when it comes to how and when to charge someone in a crime. Typically, these rules have a lower standard of proof than what city or state law enforcement and regulating agencies adhere to. They do not need to follow the same rules of a criminal investigation. Therefore, you could face school suspension or even expulsion without a trial or even much evidence.

Students may face far-reaching consequences

College students do not necessarily understand the implications of a poor decision. Depending on the severity of the burglary charge, you may find yourself in criminal proceedings outside of the college as well. If you do not get the help you need from a professional, you may face issues graduating and getting into the field you have chosen. If you try and face the charges alone, you may wind up having to go into a different line of work because you may not pass a background check. Remember, every criminal conviction over the age of 18 stays on your record. Careers such as teaching, law enforcement, criminal justice and health care may no longer accept you because of a conviction.

College is a time of learning, development, new friendships and growing up. If you find yourself in a sticky legal situation, remember that you could face long-term regrets if you do not get help.

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