In February, two 20-year-old students at UMass-Dartmouth were arrested for the possession of over $20,000 worth of drugs. When authorities searched the residence of Jason Cauley and Daniel Wharton, they found:
- 3.5 lbs. of marijuana
- 8 bottles of liquid THC
- A digital scale
- Drug paraphernalia
- 5 Alprazolam tablets (a drug that treats anxiety disorders)
- 35 grams of ecstasy
- $833.00 cash
The two students are facing criminal charges and were additionally suspended from school. Both will be charged with possession of a Class D drug (marijuana) with conspiracy to violate drug laws, and Cauley will face charges for a Class B substance (ecstasy) with intent to distribute and a Class E substance (Alprazolam).
This case brings up the question of university discipline: if these two students were off-campus at the time of their arrest, and were not involved in a school-sponsored activity when they were arrested, does the University have the right to inflict further punishment? Unfortunately for Cauley and Wharton, UMass-Dartmouth, like most universities, has an Alcohol and Drug Policy that permits seizure of illegal substances and other items, and stipulates that students must abide by State and Federal laws and may face additional penalty from the school, including suspension or permanent dismissal.
Can student off-campus residences be searched without a warrant?
Generally, students are entitled to less privacy, even if they are off-campus. “Police officers or school officials need reasonable suspicion, rather than probable cause” to search a student residence. Why Cauley and Wharton were targeted remains unknown.
College students are extremely vulnerable to searches and seizures like these, and can end up facing unlawful criminal charges. If you are a college student facing a criminal drug conviction in Arizona, or if your child is facing such charges, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced and knowledgeable drug crimes attorney who can help protect the rights of you or your child. Call 480-818-9943 to schedule a FREE and confidential consultation with drug crimes lawyer, Jeremy Geigle today.