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University of Iowa student accused of dorm room burglary

For college students, an arrest on felony charges can have life-changing consequences. In addition to any sentence imposed by the court, a conviction can result in suspension or even expulsion from school. A conviction on drug charges can result in ineligibility for federal financial aid.

Recently a University of Iowa student was charged with third-degree burglary in an incident involving an alleged theft from a dorm room. The 19-year-old woman was arrested after another student reported that a laptop computer and some bedding had been taken from his dorm room. The alleged victim identified the woman as the person he believed took the items.

When Iowa City police officers questioned the woman, she admitted the items were in her vehicle. She refused to allow a search of her vehicle, but officers impounded it and obtained a search warrant, which led to discovery of the items.

Third-degree burglary is a Class D felony in Iowa. A conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

A student facing charges like this needs a criminal defense strategy that addresses not only the allegations made by prosecutors and police, but the special concerns of college students. In addressing the charges themselves, it is essential to get to the bottom of what really happened. In many cases what appears at first blush to be a criminal act was in fact the result of a misunderstanding or even a false accusation. In addressing other concerns, it is critical to work with school authorities to maintain enrollment status and financial aid.

Source: The Gazette, "UI student faces felony charge after dorm room theft," Lee Hermiston, Jan. 31, 2017

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