Ocean City Student Assault Lawyer
Oftentimes college is a young person’s first experience interacting with people from different nationalities, different races, and different religions. Someone who has spent their entire life growing up, perhaps in one place and surrounded by the same people, is now located and living in a situation that’s completely new to them. That could include a roommate or fraternity brothers. Sharing a room for the first time or sharing a bathroom are examples of a person living in close proximity to complete strangers. It can lead to differences of opinion that can then sometimes lead to people losing their temper and getting physical. An Ocean City student defense lawyer can give a better idea as to what constitutes assault and to which degree that assault charge might be.
Fueling Assault on Ocean City Campuses
Another issue that frequently arises on college campuses in Ocean City is that people are consuming a lot of alcohol or maybe they’re trying drugs for the first time. They may be conducting themselves in a very different way than they did when they were in high school or living at home. The alcohol and drugs will almost always fuel an incident and make it much worse than perhaps it really was. It impacts a young person’s judgment if they are under the influence, and they may conduct themselves in a way that typically they would not have.
There is also the issue that, on college campuses, a lot of times young people will want to pledge a fraternity or a sorority. Sometimes in those initiation processes, the fraternity or sorority may engage in some sort of hazing ritual. There have been many examples in the media about hazing rituals getting completely out of control. One example involved a student who was beaten by other people as a part of an initiation ritual. Oftentimes, alcohol goes hand-in-hand with those situations. There is a lot of binge drinking that takes place on campus, and can take place at fraternity and sorority events. That is just fuel for a situation getting completely out of control, and people getting physical and violent with each other.
Consequences for Violent Crimes on Campus
Consequences for some sort of violent episode happening can lead to a student being charged in the criminal justice system. They could face criminal charges for whatever the behavior was. Contemporaneously, they can face consequences at the university. Universities have a student code of conduct [PDF] that explains to students what kind of conduct is expected and what kind of conduct can lead to suspension or expulsion from school.
Even the mere allegation of an incident can trigger consequences at the university. Those consequences could include the student being placed on some sort of probation from the university; the student could be removed from campus or maybe be told that they cannot return for the following semester. It’s really important for students to understand that those consequences can take place even if it is simply an allegation that has been made. They shouldn’t just believe the charges will go away with time, and should start researching Ocean City student assault attorneys as soon as possible. There doesn’t have to be a conviction through the criminal justice system in order for there to be negative consequences through the academic system.
Most Common Violent Crimes on College Campuses
The most common violent crime is assault, and assault basically is just the unlawful touching of another person without their permission. An assault can be as simple as grabbing somebody around the arm or pushing them. It does not require that somebody be punched or anything arising to that level. Unfortunately, it is a very common occurrence, especially at any event where students are drinking, lose their good judgment and get physical with each other.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Assault Charges
Assaults come in two different varieties. There’s the misdemeanor assault and there’s also a felony assault, which in Maryland is called a first degree assault. A first degree assault is touching someone with the intent to cause serious physical injury. Typically, that would be a situation where someone suffers an injury that might require surgery or some sort of medical intervention. An assault that takes place by using a weapon or picking something up like a bottle and using that to strike another person could lead to the charge of first degree assault. It is a felony and carries a much greater possible penalty than a second degree assault.
Other examples of crimes would be wearing and carrying a deadly weapon, either concealed or carrying it openly with the intent to injure someone. And a weapon does not have to be a knife, for example. A weapon could be a bottle or somebody picking up a stick or some other object off of the street and brandishing it as a weapon. These charges can be devastating for a student, and they should seriously consider getting in touch with an Ocean City student assault attorney as soon as they can.
Domestic Violence in Ocean City Colleges
Unfortunately, a lot of times domestic violence cases arise at universities related to boyfriends and girlfriends. At some point, somebody gets physical and assaults their partner. Although it happens on campus, that is still defined as a second degree assault.
On the eastern shore of Maryland, domestic violence cases are treated very differently than other assault cases. The State Attorney’s office typically is very aggressive in prosecuting domestic violence cases. Unfortunately what happens is a defendant is charged, the alleged victim is their partner and the partner does not want to proceed with the charges. They may even attempt to notify the State Attorney’s office and explain that they don’t want the case pursued, but it’s very typical for the State Attorney’s office to pursue the charge anyway. That has a lot to do with the nature of domestic violence.
It can be very typical for a victim to attempt to recant, or not want a case pursued, but the office policy will be to pursue it anyway. If an assault has been defined as being domestic in nature, they can be extremely difficult to get those charges dropped or resolved in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on the student.