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Could I get punished?? - September 18th 2015, 10:15 PM

My roommate got caught with weed and alcohol in our dorm room today. I haven't worried about it until today because I thought there was no way the cops would get in without a warrant. They tricked him by putting a finger over the peephole. Anyway, some of the weed was mine, but I hadn't smoked it. I left fingerprints on the bag though, and some of the alcohol was mine. They also took a pocket knife that was on my desk. However, my roommate took the blame for the whole thing, and I wasn't there for it. Will I get off without punishment, or could they check for prints on the bag and maybe the cans, then get me?
I'm really scared... and that hardly ever happens. I have a lot riding on having a clean record right now.
I was high last night after taking a week or two off. The irony is sickening. I'm making myself scarce and just staying at the library for a while just to have a seemingly saintly excuse for why I'm never there if they follow up.


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Re: Could I get punished?? - September 19th 2015, 12:38 AM

Hey there. I personally do not believe that they would put forth the effort to check finger prints for something as minor as weed and alcohol. If your friend has taken the blame, then I feel like he would be the only one reviving punishment from the police officers, HOWEVER, because you are a roommate in the dorm, the school may bring you in to ask you questions, and you may suffer punishment from them. (but it's highly unlikely.)

If you are concerned about school policy you can always check up on what the rules and punishments for breaking them are. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.


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Re: Could I get punished?? - September 21st 2015, 06:07 AM

I'd be surprised if the school didn't talk with you because obviously you knew about the alcohol and weed that supposedly belonged to your roommate. But I agree I highly doubt they would check for prints, especially if your roommate took the blame. You're probably off the hook, but they don't need warrants to check dorm rooms just so you know. RA's and anybody with authority can come in at any time since it's a building owned by your school.


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Re: Could I get punished?? - September 23rd 2015, 04:15 AM

It looks like I'm most likely off the hook. But I don't believe they can just walk right in. That was our illusion of safety. The police had to knock then cover the peephole, and then its fair game if we open the door. They can't open the door if nobody is home, thats why you have to stay silent.


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Re: Could I get punished?? - September 23rd 2015, 04:34 AM

If RA's can walk in without permission as long as they knock and announce themselves whether you're in your room or not then so can the police.


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Re: Could I get punished?? - September 24th 2015, 01:56 AM

relax- they aren't going to run prints on alcohol or weed. They are minor misdemeanors and they aren't going to go through that much effort. I was caught with weed in a state that isn't tolerant of it- and even then it wasn't all that bad. They are only going to fingerprint something if a serious crime has been committed. No forensics would be used for something so minor and common. The cops and state prosecutors don't exactly get excited about having to run through the procedures for an underage drinking charge or something.

The thing is , is that if he took the blame for it, you can't get in trouble unless he recants and says that you had some as well. Cops understand that college kids often have weed and alcohol (under 21) and they also understand that you normally don't pick your roommates- so as long as they don't find it actually on you- they won't charge you for it just being in a shared room (as long as the other person keeps taking the blame).

That said- in most cases, admitting to it is as good as them finding it on you. Never admit to it. You will get the same punishment regardless of whether or not you tell the truth (its normal procedure to make a person go through an easy diversion program instead of prosecution for a first misdemeanor offense) - on the other hand don't lie - just invoke your right to remain silent.

That said- its possible to get in trouble with the school. Just don't admit to anything but I would talk this over with your roommate before you tell them something like "oh yeah it was all his". You normally won't get kicked out of school for something like this- the people who work at college student conduct centers often take this somewhat seriously but they aren't naive either. They know that a good percentage of college kids will do this sort of thing.

Your roommate could have still invoked his right to privacy even if the cops covered the peephole ( provided they don't have a warrant or probable cause to conduct an involuntary search without one). He could have still opened the door, saw that it was cops, and not let them in. I would guess that the reason that they covered the hole was so that he couldn't have seen that it was cops and disposed of everything: most people do not invoke their rights. Opening the door does not establish consent to the anyone to enter your space. On the other hand- answering yes to "can we have a look around" does.

There was a guy at the school I went to , he had been suspected of having weed and the cops came- he opened the door, saw the cops, locked the door ,and stepped outside to discuss it in the hallway outside of his room (smart guy). He was not arrested because he invoked his rights. If the cops don't have probable cause to enter without a warrant- they don't have enough on you to arrest/issue you a "paper arrest".

The reason is that the constitution prevents unwarranted searches anytime there is an expectation of privacy-so even in a dorm , you have this right. It may be possible for student housing to enter if that was part of the agreement - but usually cops just can't enter as they are bound by the constitution.

Last edited by Proud90sKid; September 24th 2015 at 02:15 AM.
   
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