Student Conduct Hearings
College is supposed to be some of the best years of your life. Unfortunately, one mistake or unfounded administrative sanction can turn that time into some of the most stressful and trying. At Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce & Thompson LLP, we understand just how important your academic career is to you and your family.
If you or your child have been accused of violating a student code of conduct, charged with committing a crime, or threatened with expulsion from school, our experienced Alabama student conduct hearing attorneys will work diligently to defend your rights and protect your academic future.
Title IX and Student Misconduct
Common Offenses at Alabama Schools
Educational institutions such as Auburn University, Troy University, and Alabama State University have a student disciplinary process that can be complex with some far-reaching consequences. A student may not even know that they’ve done something wrong or could be falsely accused of wrongdoing, only to find that they are being brought up on disciplinary charges at the school. This could be in addition to consequences faced by local law enforcement.
Common offenses that might lead to student conduct hearings and administrative sanctions at a college or university include:
- Underage drinking
- Open container
- Public intoxication
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Possession of drugs
- Burglary and trespass
- Criminal mischief
- Disorderly conduct
- Violations of Student Honor Code
- Violations of Student Conduct Code
Some of the common sanctions that a university or college might impose include:
- Conduct probation
- Deferred suspension
- Interim suspension
- Ban from certain campus buildings
- Service hours
- Loss of privileges
- Trespass warning
- No contact order
The good news is that most schools allow students to have an advisor that will assist them throughout any disciplinary and review process. That advisor should be an attorney that has extensive experience in both Alabama criminal law and the administrative processes conducted by some of our nation’s largest schools.
Alabama Student Conduct Hearings
Colleges and universities outline their values and set expectations for student behavior through their Student Codes of Conduct. For example, Auburn University has specific codes of conduct that prohibit students from engaging in activities such as hazing, vandalism, underage drinking, assault, drug use, and theft.
Some of the activities prohibited by the school are also against the law. Even if a student is arrested and is found “not guilty” of the crime or has the charges dropped, the school might still pursue a Code of Conduct violation case since it operates separately from the criminal justice system.
When the school’s office issues a charge notice, the student is required to schedule an appointment with the Office of Student Conduct. In some cases, the issues are resolved with just a meeting and others require a hearing before a Student Discipline Committee. Your attorney can act as an advisor throughout this entire process, although they will most likely not be permitted to speak on your behalf.
Alabama School Expulsion Hearings
When a case is so serious that a student faces expulsion from the college or university, it’s vital that you seek the advice of an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. Your school will provide a detailed outline of its Codes of Conduct as well as the consequences for violations of those codes so that you can prepare your case.
Sometimes these Conduct Violation and Expulsion hearings move quickly at a university. The college will claim that it has to move fast in order to protect other students or to avoid any disruptions to the school learning environment. It’s been our experience that few Student Code of Conduct violations are truly this disruptive and there are few students that compromise campus safety.
When a hearing is placed on the calendar within a matter of days, you have reason to be concerned. There is a good chance that the school is hoping you will be unprepared so that they can resolve the matter quickly. Your best response is to speak with one of our Alabama Student Conduct Hearing attorneys as soon as possible so that you understand your options.
We Protect a Student’s Right to a Fair Hearing
Unfortunately, university educators are not always the most skilled investigators or lawyers. These colleges often receive complaints with incomplete information and are forced to make decisions that are less than fair to the accused parties. When a student’s rights are in jeopardy, we feel that it is our duty to thoroughly investigate these cases, understand the university’s own rules, and give our clients the advice that will allow them to receive the fairest treatment.
Protecting a Student’s Right to an Education
Education is essential to many careers and opportunities. We believe that defending a student’s right to receive an education is one of the vital roles that our practice plays in the community. Unfortunately, the goal of the university is often to teach “accountability” which translates to doling out sanctions without regard for fair treatment or consideration of the student’s future. When a student’s education is on the line, we take our job seriously by working closely with the student and other advocates to build a strong case.
Get the Guidance You Need Today
Having a student conduct hearing hanging over yours or your child’s head can be stressful, to say the least. This is something that can not only prevent you from concentrating on your studies, but it can also threaten the very future that you are trying to build. No matter how serious the issue, contact our Auburn legal team so that we can discuss your situation and your options.
Our Alabama student conduct hearing lawyers can provide you or your child with the most effective and aggressive defense necessary to work towards a favorable outcome to your case. We will stand beside you through every step of this harrowing process and advocate for your right to fair treatment and an education. Call us now at (334) 821-3892 or contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
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