Top 4 Criminal Charges for College Students

Top 4 Criminal Charges for College Students

Whether you or your loved one attend college, you should know what the common arrests and citations are for university students. Here are the common crimes committed by university students.


A.R.S. § 4-244 (34) makes driving under the influence as a minor illegal. Often called the “Baby DUI” by police, prosecutors, and defense attorneys in Arizona. Arizona’s baby DUI law is a criminal misdemeanor charge. If underage and cited, you will typically be charged with both a regular DUI and a baby DUI. With baby DUI, the State only needs to prove that any alcohol was present in your body when you were pulled over. Any amount of alcohol in your system can result in guilt. The State does not need to prove any particular amount, or that you were actually impaired.

Minor in Possession

Universities and college police departments (as well as other agencies) sometimes cite students with “Minor in Possession of Alcohol” (MIP) § ARS 4-244, which is a class one misdemeanor. This charge is very common for those students who decide to drink in their own dorm rooms. The outcomes vary: some students will receive a mere “warning”, while other may get referred to diversion, which requires the student to take classes before his or her case is closed. Tip for the parents: it is crucial to determine whether the matter is a criminal citation or a non-criminal referral to the Dean of Students Office.

Fake ID

More often than not, a fake I.D. conviction is more serious than a minor in possession charge. Sometimes, the result of these charges can result in suspension of driving privileges for 6 months. Fake I.D. matters often result in criminal charges. This applies to students with no prior issues. The most common situations involve students caught buying alcohol with fake I.D. Police will wait in store parking lots and stop the student as they leave the store.

Marijuana Possession

Despite marijuana being legal now, marijuana is still banned from college campuses in Arizona. Students caught with unauthorized marijuana, particularly in the dorms, the results can be surprisingly severe. Unlike the minor in possessions charge, having unauthorized marijuana on campus likely results in criminal charges and a referral to the Dean of Students Office. If the student has been caught before, he or she can face a swift eviction from the dorm. Recently, we have seen university campus officers who will cite freshman (with no prior criminal histories) with marijuana charges when the student has wax, extracts or concentrates. If you are the parent of a student at a university, he or she should not have these substances, extracts or concentrates of marijuana. It can result in a lot of trouble down the road for your student.

Extra Links

Below are some links that parents may find useful if they have a student that is charged with a crime on camps. See the student handbooks below:

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Final Thoughts

While staying safe is always important, knowing the common pitfalls amongst university students is always good to know. Most universities maintain a “zero tolerance” policy for drugs and alcohol. If you or your student face any of these criminal charges, call us at (480) 545 – 0700 or visit Chuck for more. Our goal is to always help students out in these tough times, and to consider the impacts of a potential conviction for school and future job purposes.

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