College Student Criminal Defense Camden County

Being in college is an exciting time. As a college student, it is likely the first time you are living away from your family and are experiencing a newfound independence. If you are a parent, you have done everything in your power to prepare your child for college, and now all you can do is hope they make good decisions. Unfortunately, most of us make mistakes when we are young, and making mistakes in college is common. Often, these mistakes have few, if any, long-term consequences; we just (hopefully) learn from the mistakes and move on to make better choices in the future. Occasionally, mistakes involve committing a crime and, without assistance from a seasoned criminal defense attorney at the Lento Law Firm, could have devastating implications.

Crimes committed on campus, sometimes even off campus, can result in criminal charges and/or the college or university taking disciplinary action against a student. If you are lucky, you could get away with getting a near-harmless warning, and your Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team will certainly do everything in its power to get the charges dropped and have only a warning issued. But it is a genuine possibility criminal charges will be pursued. The consequences, as discussed below, can be life-altering.

If you are a student facing criminal charges or the parent of a college student facing criminal charges for a crime on a Camden County college campus, do not wait to retain legal counsel. The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team knows the battle you are about to enter with the criminal justice system and the college or university. Our Team has helped college students throughout Camden County get the best possible outcomes in criminal cases and college disciplinary actions against them. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online today.

Camden County Campus Crimes

While you might feel like your college or university is its own bubble not connected to the real world, that is not the case. Your college or university may have its own security, but crimes committed on campus can be referred to Camden County law enforcement. The criminal code of Camden County applies to any crimes committed on campus. While any crime committed on a campus can result in criminal charges, the most common crimes seen on college campuses include:

Underage Use of Alcohol

The underage use of alcohol is probably the most common crime committed on college campuses. New Jersey prohibits the purchase, possession, and drinking of alcohol under the age of 21. The crime of underage use of alcohol in New Jersey is called a minor in possession of alcohol charge, or "MIP" for short. If you are found guilty of an MIP, you can face up to 180 days in jail and a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. With the help of your Lento Law Firm Team, a judge may give you a less severe penalty. In this case, you may be ordered to complete community service or attend an alcohol abuse counseling program.

Criminal Mischief

Under New Jersey law, criminal mischief is defined as purposely or knowingly damaging tangible property or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly tampering with the tangible property of another with the intent to endanger a person or property. Criminal mischief includes vandalism, breaking a window, destroying a person's mailbox, or intentionally damaging a rental property, like an off-campus apartment. Penalties for criminal mischief can include the financial cost of repairing the property damage you have caused, heavy fines, and even imprisonment.

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is another common crime on college campuses. This crime tends to occur when a student has been drinking, potentially while committing the crime of underage use of alcohol. A few examples of disorderly conduct include fighting or threatening others, creating hazardous or dangerous conditions, and even using offensive language in public. Penalties for disorderly conduct can be up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Remember that if this crime is committed simultaneously with others, you can expect steeper penalties to come your way.

Drug Related Offenses

Both law enforcement and your college will take drug-related offenses very seriously. Your college or university will most definitely have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs. Whether you have just a small amount of drugs for personal use or are in possession of a large quantity, perhaps with the intention to distribute, you can expect to face severe consequences. New Jersey law prohibits the possession of all federally scheduled drugs; this includes but is not limited to cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy.


Harassment can be any number of different crimes. Under New Jersey law, harassment encompasses the following:

  • Make, or cause to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or harm
  • Threatens to or subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching
  • Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with the purpose of alarming or seriously annoying another person

Harassment doesn't need to be physical or in person; cyber harassment is an increasingly common crime that law enforcement has begun pursuing more heavily. Cyber harassment isn't just limited to text messages; it can easily happen if you aren't careful on social media and other online platforms. In New Jersey, cyber harassment crimes include:

  • Threatening to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or the property of any person
  • Sends, posts, comments, requests, suggests, or proposes lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person to cause emotional harm or fear
  • Threatening to commit any crime against a person or their property

Having the assistance of the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team is particularly necessary when dealing with harassment charges. There can be inconsistency in how law enforcement and courts interpret harassment. Different law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges may have differing views on the severity of your actions and if they fall squarely within the definition of harassment. The Lento Law Firm can help you with these charges; you want to avoid ending up with up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.


There is nowhere more common to see the crime of hazing than on a college campus, especially in schools participating in Greek life. New Jersey has two provisions of the law that specifically address hazing. You can be found guilty of the first provision regarding hazing if you have done the following:

  • Knowingly or recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates, or engages in any conduct which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury (there is an exclusion for competitive athletics events); and
  • The actions are made in connection with the initiation of applicants or members of a student or fraternal organization.

The second provision has the same elements as the first but adds the requirement that a serious injury occurs to another person as a result of the above. If you are guilty of this second provision, you are guilty of the crime of aggravated hazing.

Sex Crimes

In New Jersey, sex crimes include rape, criminal sexual assault, indecent exposure, and more. Sex crimes have significantly longer jail times and monetary penalties than some of the other crimes mentioned.

Consequences of Criminal Charges and Convictions

A warning is a best-case scenario, but if a warning is not issued, criminal charges can have a variety of outcomes, from expensive fines to jail time. Further, convictions of a crime will be kept in a permanent record; this means that a record of your crime will be publicly available to any school you may try to transfer to or any future potential employers. A criminal record can impact your educational and employment opportunities in the future because, unfortunately, schools and potential employers are often not even open to allowing you to explain yourself and will disqualify you immediately.

You may also see short-term consequences because of criminal charges or convictions; these criminal allegations can bring your college or university to take disciplinary action against you. Immediate action can be taken against you, such as loss of campus housing or college-provided health insurance or health services. Expulsion can also result in the acceleration of student loan repayments, which is standard when you are no longer actively in school. Schools also hold permanent records; if you attempt to transfer schools, disciplinary action against you will be provided to the college or university admissions office to which you are applying.

Camden County Criminal Procedure

If you have been charged with a crime in Camden County, you should immediately hire an attorney with the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team. Our Team will walk you through the process in detail, but here is a brief overview:

Pre-trial Procedures

During this time, the prosecution and the Lento Law Firm attorneys will build their arguments, share evidence, and file pre-trial motions that may be appropriate. Your Lento Law Firm attorneys can also pursue negotiations with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or even file a motion to dismiss with the court if appropriate.


Your Lento Law Firm attorneys will present your case before the court and defend you against the evidence and testimony presented by the prosecutor. At the end of the trial, a determination will be made regarding your guilt or innocence.

Camden County College and University Disciplinary Procedures

Every school will have its own procedures for addressing campus crimes and taking disciplinary action against a student. Some schools have specific conduct offices, while others, such as Rutgers University Camden, take disciplinary action through the Dean of Students Office. These offices are responsible for implementing the college or university's code of conduct.

While dealing with school disciplinary actions, hiring an attorney may not cross your mind, but having an attorney ensures that the college does not violate your rights or take any inappropriate action against you. You have the legal right to be advised by your Lento Law Firm attorneys at every step of the academic disciplinary process, and we strongly suggest this.

If you are charged with a crime, your college or university will likely be notified. Whether they act immediately is at their discretion; they may wait until your criminal case has concluded. While each school may have slightly different procedures, the process will generally look like this:


The relevant office will investigate your case, review documentation, collect evidence, conduct interviews, and compile a report.

Pre-Hearing Conference

The pre-hearing conference is an opportunity for the investigating office, you, and your Lento Law Firm attorneys to negotiate an appropriate disciplinary action without the process of a formal hearing. You may be asked to confess to the crime and comply with penalties, suspension, or more. Your Lento Law Firm attorneys ensure your school negotiates in good faith.


If you cannot resolve this in the pre-hearing conference, a formal hearing will occur where both sides present evidence. Following the hearing, you will be informed of the disciplinary action that will be taken against you.


If you disagree with the result of your hearing, you are entitled to an appeal. The Lento Law Firm Team frequently helps students who appeal their school's disciplinary actions against them. Even if you haven't had an attorney with you through the disciplinary process, our Team can help with your appeal.

Retain the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team Today

You cannot afford to gamble on your future; the Lento Law Firm will fight tirelessly to get the best possible outcome when you are charged with a crime. Retain the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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