District Court, House Parties, & Underage Drinking
The SAO has successfully assisted students regarding off campus matters, particularly when students have to appear in court for criminal proceedings. Our organization has one attorney on staff as well as several other resources to ensure that all students who must appear in court are represented.
If a student must appear for an arraignment in District Court, his/her judicial advisor will explain all court procedures prior to students having to go in front of a judge. Students will be also be informed of options that will be available as well as the potential penalties for any charges. On the day of arraignment, an advisor will accompany the student to the court proceedings.
If a student has contact with the police off-campus, they can be sanctioned by the College as well. The Student Handbook states that “the College may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student regardless of pending civil or criminal action involving the same or a different set of factual circumstances. College disciplinary action may proceed before, simultaneous with, or after external investigative or judicial action, and the College is not bound or impeded by any action taken by external authorities.”
The SAO is currently in the process of creating guidelines for students who plan on hosting functions at houses off-campus with the intention of notifying students of what their rights, particularly concerning communication and protocol that must be followed by the Providence Police while raiding houses, levying fines, and issuing warnings.
If you have any contact with the police and have questions regarding your interaction, contact the SAO at PCStudentAdvocate@gmail.com
If you need to appear in court for a criminal charge, contact PCStudentAdvocate@gmail.com or the organization’s President, Jon Dooley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CAUGHT UNDERAGE DRINKING
If you are caught underage drinking off campus, you can be cited for violating RI statue
§ 3-8-10 – Possession of alcoholic beverage by underage persons
-Getting cited for underage drinking is a violation, which technically is not a criminal charge like a misdemeanor. Violations are punishable by a fine of no more than $500 and do not carry jail time.
-Technically, in order to be proven guilty, an officer must witness you drinking, remove the actual drink from your hand, and then save a sample of the drink that must later test positive for alcohol.
-Underage drinking citations are rarely challenged in court and are usually resolved quickly.
First offense- $150 fine, possible 30-hrs of community service and/or 60-day license suspension
* In many cases, a judge may offer that if you complete a 20-hour alcohol program
called RYDD, all other penalties (fine, loss of license, etc.) will be waived
What to do:
- Remain calm and be polite – your behavior will be taken into account.
- Keep your mouth shut! Anything that you say can and will be used against you
- Comply with all orders given to you by law enforcement officers.
- If given a form to sign, read all of it. If you are not comfortable signing something or answering a question, advise the officer(s) that you wish to speak with an attorney first.
What not to do:
- Even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable, DO NOT talk back or give attitude. An officer can readily charge you with various criminal charges that cannot be resolved as easily as an alcohol citation. Be respectful.
- Do not give any statements, confessions, excuses, etc. This will only work to your detriment. Regardless of what an officer tells you, remember, you are innocent until proven guilty.
Attorney: It is always best to consult with an attorney for any court proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the RI Public Defender’s Office may be available to assist you or you may contact the PC Student Advocacy Organization (PCStudentAdvocate@gmail.com) at least a week before your court date to obtain free representation.
Record: Violations are disposed of once you complete the requirements of your sentence…this means that the case will be thrown out and expunged from your record.
Questions: If you have any questions or concerns involving contact with any police department or judicial proceedings contact the PC SAO at the email address listed above.
If cited in Providence you will have to appear for your court date at :
Sixth Division District Court
Garrahy Judicial Complex
One Dorrance Street
For more information on your rights regarding the police, please visit the following ACLU Website at (http://dev.nyclu.org/bustcard) or download their “Bust Card” that highlights your rights by clicking HERE.