Ringsmuth, Day & O’Halloran, PLLC - Fort Myers Criminal Defense
Former Prosecutors

In trouble with campus police? Here is what you need to know

The role of campus police is to keep students safe, and enforce school policy. If you are college student, you have probably seen these officers around campus, and you may wonder if they are actually police and if they have the power to arrest you. It's in your interests to know how to interact with these individuals and how to protect your rights in case of an incident in the future.

It can be overwhelming to find yourself in trouble with the authorities at your school. Regardless of the details of your individual situation and the reason you are in trouble, it's possible your future educational opportunities are on the line. Your interests are worth protecting, and it can be helpful to secure legal counsel regarding your defense options.

Common questions about the police on campus

Like other Florida college students, you may have questions about the police on your college campus and wonder what you should do if you find yourself facing questions or they detained you. The following information may be helpful: 

  • It's possible that the law enforcement officers you have on campus are legitimate police officers with the authority to question people, arrest and use force. However, you will want to find out if they are simply paid security guards, which have very little legal authority.
  • If a campus police officer questions you, you have the right to remain silent and to ask for a lawyer. However, you could face consequences from the college or university for refusing to cooperate.
  • Without having probable cause to do so, campus police cannot search your room without permission. If you live on campus, however, your right to refuse a search may depend on where you live, along with the specifics of university policy. 

It can be complex to know where your rights as a student end and the authority of the campus police and the university begin. If you are in trouble, it's in your interests to exercise your right to an attorney as soon as possible.

Fighting for your education and future

You want to protect your education, your future career prospects and your personal freedom when facing legal trouble. If you find yourself under investigation, facing questioning or involved in a serious legal situation, you do not have to face it alone. You will find it beneficial to speak with an attorney experienced in both criminal defense and university administrative hearings as soon as possible.

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