College dorms are often a bit like the Wild West. You have a bunch of young adults all living in the same space, perhaps having never lived on their own before. They have mild supervision in the form of RAs and others but not as much as they had living at home with their parents. These young adults are also very excited to be at college, to be off on their own and to form their own identities.

This makes the college experience a beautiful one for growing and developing. Unfortunately, it can also lead to some criminal activity.

While many headlines focus on things like alcohol and drug use, the truth is that about 50% of the actual crimes that happen are simple theft crimes. This makes theft the single most common example of lawbreaking that happens on many college campuses. That’s not to say that drinking and drug use don’t happen, along with a multitude of other things, but they’re simply not the most common issues.

Sometimes, theft may also be connected. A student could become intoxicated and accidentally rob someone else in the dorm by stealing something on their way back to their room, thinking it is theirs. Or they may know that the item belongs to someone else, but the alcohol use can lower their inhibitions and make them think it’s fine to steal the item. They could regret it the next morning, but by then the deed has been done.

If your child is facing criminal charges, especially when it is early in their college career, and you’re worried about their future, you need to know what options you have.

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