Attending college can be an exciting time marked by new experiences and new-found freedom. Unfortunately, the increased independence can sometimes lead to problems. If you have been accused of misconduct and are facing a student disciplinary hearing, contact a Loveland student defense lawyer.
Students are not always clear on their rights during the campus disciplinary process. You do not need to handle your case alone. Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson could provide critical legal guidance to help protect your rights and your future. Speak to a seasoned defense attorney to discuss your rights.
Many schools in Loveland have a code of conduct, which outlines their rules and expectations regarding student behavior. If students violate the code of conduct, a disciplinary process begins, which often includes a student disciplinary hearing. Examples of code of conduct violations that might result in a student disciplinary hearing include:
The purpose of student disciplinary hearings is to review the specific allegations of misconduct against a student to determine if misconduct occurred. If a student is found guilty of misconduct, then sanctions could also be imposed during the hearing.
A student could also be investigated by law enforcement if the alleged misconduct included illegal activities, such as possession of illicit drugs. However, a student could still be subjected to a campus disciplinary hearing and school sanctions even if no criminal investigation takes place.
Student disciplinary hearings conducted by school administrators do not operate in the same manner as a criminal trial. During a criminal trial, a defendant is entitled to several constitutional rights, including the right to have legal counsel. The constitutional right to legal representation does not extend to campus disciplinary hearings.
Fortunately, many schools permit students to bring a support person to disciplinary hearings, and a lawyer could be present in a support capacity. A skilled defense lawyer familiar with schools in the Loveland area could help students understand their rights during a disciplinary hearing, including the right to bring someone along for support. Depending on the school’s rules, an attorney might not be able to present evidence during a disciplinary hearing, but a lawyer could be there to protect a student’s rights.
Another distinction between student disciplinary hearings and criminal court proceedings pertains to the burden of proof. Unlike criminal trials, there is no requirement to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt during a student disciplinary hearing. That means a lesser burden of proof is needed to find a student guilty of misconduct during a campus hearing.
Several possible consequences could be imposed for students who have been found guilty of misconduct through their school’s disciplinary hearing process. Common examples of potential sanctions for student misconduct include:
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged misconduct, another outcome of a disciplinary hearing could be mandatory counseling, substance abuse testing, or treatment. Failing to comply could result in other sanctions being imposed.
In addition to any consequences levied by their school, students whose conduct also violated the law could face criminal charges and various legal penalties if convicted. For example, a student charged with assault after getting into a fight on campus could be fined or sentenced to time in jail. An experienced defense attorney could fight to help students fight their case.
Facing school officials at a student disciplinary hearing can be intimidating, particularly since their decision could impact your academic future. A Loveland student defense lawyer can help you prepare for your hearing and possibly accompany you to ensure your rights as a student are protected.
Whatever situation you are facing at school, you do not need to handle it on your own. Call Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson about how to best proceed in a student disciplinary situation.