College Student Disciplinary Hearing Defense

College students charged with serious violations of their school's code of conduct often do not realize how devastating the consequences of a finding against them may be. A student expelled from his college may find it difficult to ever obtain an undergraduate or graduate degree. Income and job choices may be diminished for a lifetime. Yet, despite the severity of the consequences of a "guilty" finding by a college disciplinary board, the rules of most colleges are rigged against the student. It can often seem that they are presumed guilty rather than innocent, and that they will not be given a fair opportunity to present their case and challenge the case against them. An experienced attorney can give an accused college student his or her best chance for a just result. Don't face your college disciplinary board alone. Retain experienced counsel.

Rape and Sexual Assault

An accusation of rape or sexual assault is one of the most serious violations of a college code of conduct that a student – almost always male – can face. If the student is found by the college disciplinary board to have committed the offense, expulsion is a near certainty. Yet, charges of rape on college campuses, especially of the date rape variety, may occur in circumstances that are ambiguous. Drugs or alcohol are often involved. The judgment of both students may have been affected, and the memory and perception of the accuser may have been impaired. To make matters worse for a student accused of a sexual assault on campus, he will be "tried" by his college disciplinary board in a witch hunt atmosphere of near hysteria, in which male students are presumed to have bought into a "rape culture," and where their protests of innocence are viewed with suspicion, if not derision. Rape is a horrific crime deserving of harsh consequences – but, false allegations do occur. Every student charged with an offense he denies is entitled to defend his reputation and his future. If you are charged with rape or sexual assault on campus in today's charged atmosphere, you must have the skilled legal help which an experienced attorney can give.

Sexual Harassment – "Title IX" Violations

Fueled by two decades of political correctness, many college codes of conduct now define sexual harassment to include speech – even constitutionally protected speech – with sexual content, if another student takes offense. Jokes, sarcasm, even the honest, blunt expression of opinion on an issue, if sex is involved, may result in a charge if a sensitive fellow student is annoyed or offended. Other types of conduct, considered complimentary or innocuous by a student, with no harm intended, may result in an accusation of sexual harassment. Examples that have brought charges of sexual harassment on some campuses include comments about a woman's attractiveness or dress, a request for a date after a rejection, or an uninvited request for a sexual relationship. A student charged with sexual harassment should not underestimate the hypersensitive climate on today's college campuses, or the potential seriousness of a negative finding by his or her college disciplinary board. Experienced counsel can help prevent you from being the victim of an injustice.

Punishment for Incivility or other Allegedly Offensive Speech

Many college codes of conduct require that students be civil or respectful toward professors and other students in all campus interactions. Such provisions have resulted in many ludicrous disciplinary charges against students who were merely challenging a professor or engaging in provocative or politically incorrect speech on an issue of social, political, or religious importance. The repression of free speech on college campuses has become a national menace which should be staunchly resisted. Public colleges and universities are subject to the United States Constitution. When they charge a student with a disciplinary code offense for exercising his or her right to free speech, they should be educated, fought vigorously and if necessary, sued in court. Private universities are held to the provisions of their own student handbooks, which often contain language promising students the right of free speech and exchange of ideas. They should be held to their promises. If you have been charged with a breach of your college code of conduct because you expressed yourself as you saw fit, experienced counsel may help you fight for your right to free speech.

Other OffensesAlcohol or Drug Violations

A finding that you have violated your college's rules on the use of drugs or alcohol on campus, may bring serious consequences, including in some instances suspension or expulsion. Don't face such charges without legal assistance.

Acts of Physical Violence

If you have been accused of assault and battery or other acts involving physical force, you would be well advised to retain experienced counsel to review your options and determine how you will respond to the allegations. If you are innocent, legal representation is especially important to enable you to best defend yourself.

Destruction of Property, Vandalism, Disorderly Conduct

Celebrations that get out of hand often result in actions that a college student later regrets. They may also result in a charge of violation of the college code of conduct. You may benefit from legal counsel as you decide how best to respond to the charges against you. If you believe that you have been unfairly accused – mistakes of identity are not unusual when an innocent person is stuck amidst a rowdy mob – legal counsel will give you the best chance to be exonerated.