Cutting Corners: Laws All College Kids Should be Aware Of

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  • You did it! You got a grant or a scholarship, a deal on a dorm room, packed up your old Honda, and you’re on your way to college!

    Cutting costs and living your own college dream is what life is all about, but cutting corners on the law could really set you back a few years.

    There are a few laws that directly affect college kids, and you need to be aware of them. No one wants part of their education to include jail time.

    Free Speech

    There are limits to exercise of free speech, even if free is in the phrase. If you go to a private college, like a private company, the administration can do disciplinary action based on your opinions alone, especially if they consider them derogatory to the school’s vision or curriculum. United States constitutional freedom of speech gives the right to engage in symbolic speech, (burning a flag in protest) and to use certain offensive words and phrases for political messages, but not necessarily on private property (a private school).

    Freedom of speech does not include: Actions to harm or harass others, distributing obscene materials or using obscenities in a speech at a school event or on the property of the school. Before staging civil disobedience of any kind, investigate school rules.

    Cops on Campus

    You may not think so, but campus cops are probably real cops. They have all the powers and privileges of the police downtown. If they have limitations, they still have the duty to detain you until other law enforcement arrives on the scene.

    Wet vs Dry

    Minors are restricted from alcohol even if the the campus is "wet". Some college campuses allow restricted consumption of alcohol on school grounds. This consumption privilege is not extended to minors however. Serving minors alcohol or minors possessing or consuming alcohol is still against state law, even though your college may have relaxed alcohol policies.

    Weed Behind the Wheel

    Certain states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. Stoned while operating a motor vehicle? Any Knochel Law Offices PC will tell you it’s illegal. Like driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal. If you are caught, it’s considered a DUI.

    Threats Aren’t Funny

    Bomb threats aren’t funny, they’re felonies. Please don’t tell authorities that you really didn’t mean it. It may sound creative to call in a bomb threat and ward off an exam, but authorities will be called to investigate, and you will have to pay the price.

    Be aware and be prepared. It’s the law!

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