Theft on College Campuses

College is expensive. The price of tuition paired with housing, food, textbooks and other expenses could discourage even the most determined student. Once these expenses are paid, some students are forced to live on a tight budget to stay afloat. This way of living could make illegal actions like theft seem not that bad. However, succumbing to this desire and committing a theft crime could ultimately jeopardize a student's academic and professional career.

Theft Crimes

Most college students aren't out robbing banks or committing grand theft auto. The most common theft charges that are pinned on students are petty larceny and shoplifting offenses. Even though these theft crimes seem much more minuscule than large-scale theft crimes, states still enforce harsh penalties to deter people from stealing. Here is a brief overview of these crimes:

Petty Larceny

When an individual commits this crime, they have stolen money or property that is of little value. For example, let's say a student that lives in a dorm enters their neighbor's room and notices that they aren't there. The student takes their neighbor's PlayStation 4 without permission and stashes it in his car so that nobody knows. This student would be charged with petty larceny since the device isn't worth a large sum of money. Often times petty larceny is classified as a misdemeanor in most states. In some cases, a maximum penalty for this crime results in time spent in a county jail.


Considered one of the most common theft crimes, shoplifting is when an individual knowingly takes merchandise for sale from an establishment without paying for it. An example of shoplifting would be stealing beer from a corner store. The penalties for shoplifting vary based on what is stolen and the value of the goods involved. When dangerous objects like firearms, explosives, butcher knives etc. are shoplifted, a judge may stiffen penalties.

How Can Theft Affect My Standing as a Student of the College?

A conviction for the crimes mentioned above may adversely affect your standing with your college or university. The repercussions for this offense are wide-reaching. They include a suspension or expulsion carried out by your school, court appearances that affect your attendance in school, fines that could add to your ever growing student debt and a jail sentence. Also, with a theft conviction on your criminal record, it could limit your access to certain careers, government aid, and other crucial resources.

Nationwide Student Defense Attorney

The idea of being expelled or thrown in jail for a theft crime is overwhelming. Some students can't stand the pressure of these allegations and just go through the motions. If you have been charged with a theft offense, it's important you understand that a favorable outcome is possible. With the help a knowledgeable attorney, your charges could be drastically reduced or completely dismissed. Take advantage of your right to an attorney. Contact skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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