Why students can get in trouble if they are at a crime scene

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense

In college, many students strive for academic excellence. However, unforeseen circumstances may lead to legal troubles, especially if students find themselves at the scene of a crime.

Maryland college students need to be aware of the potential consequences that could affect their academic and personal lives.

Apparent complicity

Merely being present at the scene of a crime can have severe repercussions for a college student. If law enforcement authorities determine that an individual was present during the commission of a crime, they may consider this person an accomplice. This could lead to charges such as aiding and abetting, even if the person did not actively participate in the criminal act. The legal system may view the student’s presence as contributing to the overall wrongdoing.


College students often form social circles, but associations with individuals who may be doing criminal activities can be detrimental. If a student is in the company of those committing a crime, authorities might perceive the student as guilty by association.

College disciplinary actions

About 348,054 students attend Maryland colleges. A college may take disciplinary actions if it thinks students were present at a crime or somehow involved. Most educational institutions have codes of conduct that students must adhere to. Any involvement in illegal activities may result in sanctions, ranging from academic probation to expulsion. College administrators are likely to take swift action.

Future implications

A criminal record can have long-lasting consequences for a college student’s future. Even if police do not directly charge the student with a crime, being present at the scene may still impact background checks in some way. Any connection to criminal activities may raise red flags.

The consequences of being at the scene of a crime or alleged crime can affect Maryland college students in many ways.

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Charles Waechter | Lawyer.com Premium
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