Most college students will at one time or another have an encounter with campus police or the local community police. Typical encounters include:
- Underage consumption of alcohol
- Creating a public disturbance
- Violating the local noise ordinance (loud parties)
- Destruction of property (removing a street sign)
- Public intoxication
- Possession of an illegal substance
- Driving under the influence
The encounter could involve yourself or one of your friends. These encounters could lead to life changing circumstances if not managed properly. You need to know how to manage these encounters to keep yourself or your friends out of serious trouble.
When you think about how to manage these encounters consider these perspectives.
- Police don’t want to arrest students but must deal with violations of the law when they see them.
- How you respond to the situation will determine in many cases what the police decide to do with regard to charges filed.
With these perspectives in mind, here are some strategies for managing police encounters
- Don’t try to run away from the police. You will get caught and the outcome will be additional charges.
- Don’t “smart-mouth” the officer. Be polite. Be contrite. Do what you are told.
- Restrain your friends from doing anything stupid. Often your friends can get you into trouble even if you have done nothing wrong.
- If the police give you a warning, stop doing what you are doing. This is especially true for things such as noise warnings.
Should you get arrested, this could affect you for the rest of your life. You never know when you need to have a background check. Even minor offences can have major consequences..