It’s your first year of college. You’re getting acclimated to your new surroundings and just starting to understand the realities of campus life. You put in long hours in class, at the library, and maybe working a part-time job. When you get some free time, you decide to let loose a little and take part in some of the off-campus festivities. That is where things take a bad turn. You are attending a party off-campus, when things start to get out of control. The police arrive, and they arrest everyone who hasn’t fled out the back door. What happens next? Can you get kicked out of school for your off-campus arrest? The short answer to that question is “maybe”, depending on the circumstances and how you handle the situation. If you have been arrested in an off-campus incident, contact the campus proceedings attorneys at Haygood Cleveland Pierce & Thompson, so we can work with you to make sure your rights are protected.
What Happens after an Off-Campus Arrest?
When you are arrested as a college student, it is generally the same process as if you are not in school. You are taken to the police station, booked on whatever you are charged with, and maybe spend a night or two in jail. At this point, it is important for you to be polite to the arresting officer. The police do not know who you are, and they may be inclined to think the worst of you. If you are respectful to them, it will go a long way toward favorably resolving the situation. If the police charge you with a crime, it is strongly advised that you contact an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney</a> who specializes in working college students. A seasoned attorney can thoroughly review the facts and evidence in the case and put together the most effective legal defense.
Will My School Find Out About My Arrest?
It is highly likely that the college or university you attend will eventually find out that you were arrested – even if it was off-campus for something totally unrelated to your academic life. In many college towns, the local police have a written agreement known as a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) between them and the university to report all incidents involving one of the school’s students. Even if there is no formal agreement, it is often common practice for the police to let the school know about an arrest. Bottom line: if you are arrested off-campus, assume that your school will find out and prepare to deal with the consequences of a disciplinary proceeding.
Will My School Kick Me Out for My Off-Campus Arrest?
Many incidents that result in an off-campus arrest are violations of a university’s code of conduct. Examples may include drug possession, hazing, vandalism, sexual assault, public intoxication, DUI, burglary and trespass, and many others. Some schools are stricter than others and may issue harsher punishments for code of conduct violations. For example, a private religious school may throw you out for anything alcohol-related, while the same violation could be considered minor at a public university.
There are a wide range of administrative sanctions a college or university may impose if you are determined to be in violation of the school’s code of conduct. Some examples include:
- Loss of Certain Privileges
- Several Hours of Service on Campus
In the most serious cases, a school might kick you out if you are arrested off-campus. It is important to note that this could happen even if you are found not guilty or the criminal charges against you are reduced or dropped. School administrative proceedings operate outside the criminal justice system, and the standard of proof for the university to impose sanctions is lower than in a court of law. In a criminal proceeding, the standard is “beyond reasonable doubt.” For a school code of conduct violation, the standard may either be “clear and convincing evidence” (highly probable) or in most schools, “preponderance of evidence” (more likely than not). Each school has their own set of policies and procedures and determines their own standard of proof for code of conduct proceedings. When a school moves to expel a student, they often schedule the hearing quickly hoping the student is unprepared. If this occurs, get in touch with an experienced Alabama lawyer right away so your rights and interests are fully protected.
What Other Consequences Are there for Being Arrested Off-Campus?
Expulsion may be your primary concern after an arrest, but there are other important consequences to be aware of as well. An arrest becomes part of your criminal record, and even if you remain in school, you may encounter other problems down the road. For example, you could potentially lose your financial aid and student housing. You may also have difficulty obtaining employment and/or admission to a graduate program. All these issues must be considered in dealing with both the school administrative proceeding and the criminal case. An attorney with in-depth knowledge of both types of proceedings can analyze the big picture and develop the most effective defense strategy to mitigate the situation as much as possible.Contact an
Experienced Alabama Campus Proceedings Attorney
If you have been arrested in an off-campus issue or if you have been charged with any time of crime, you should immediately contact an experienced Alabama Criminal Defense attorney to make certain your rights are protected. Contact the skilled Criminal Defense attorneys at Haygood Cleveland Pierce & Thompson at (334) 821-3892, or online, for an initial consultation.