For a lot of people, college will be the most fun and wild years of their life. A lot of stories will be created and friendships will be formed that will last a lifetime. The newly discovered independence and easy access to drugs and alcohol is a hotbed for experimentation and poor decisions. However, being a college student doesn’t make you immune to the long arm of the law. Many people see pranks as good-natured and will get some laughs or gain popularity. If the pranker is caught mid-prank, they can be looking at some significant trouble. Some common shenanigans that can result in serious punishments include:
●Underage Drinking - This is probably the most common type of illegal activity that nearly every college student is guilty of committing. It is typical for a house party to get too noisy and the police are called leading to a bust of multiple underage consumption charges.
●Burglary - Stealing things that do not belong to you is illegal. Street signs, campus fixtures, and other items that college students will think are insignificant will be take seriously by the police. Often school rivals will go back and forth taking each others sports trophies. If caught in the act, you can be charged with theft.
●Vandalism - This goes in hand with burglary. Rivaling schools or fraternities will often spray paint, silly string, or toilet paper each others property. Depending on the value of the vandalized item and if any damage is done, this can be a felony with high fines and possibly jail time.
●Streaking - Running naked through a public event such as a football game may seem harmless and not have any negative outcomes, but this can be seen as public indecency. This will especially be the case if children are present. Ohio has recently revised their definition and penalties of public indecency which now requires those convicted of it to register as a tier I sex offender.
●Criminal Mischief - This charge applies to most types of pranks that can be criminalized. It includes property damage, misuse of construction equipment, and even computer hacking. In this time of technology and the internet, even cyber bullying can be seen as a serious offense.
Most crimes that occur on or near college campuses are handled by the school administration or campus security. In some cases, local police will get involved and charge students with misdemeanors or felonies. If you or your child has been charged with a crime for committing a college prank, contact an attorney at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.