When a college student is accused of committing a criminal offense on or off campus, they may face consequences in both the criminal justice system and through administrative disciplinary proceedings at the university.

The criminal and administrative processes differ significantly in terms of protections, procedures, and potential penalties, but students are entitled to fundamental due process in either context.

If you are a college student charged with a crime or facing a disciplinary hearing, it is important to understand that you have rights. When your future and freedom are at stake, you can rely on a Delray Beach student defense lawyer to vigorously challenge the charges against you. Retain the services of a dedicated criminal attorney that can try to fight for the best outcome possible in your case.

Common Criminal Charges Against College Students

Even though most college students have never been in trouble with the law, they are subject to the same punishment as any other individual who is convicted of a criminal offense. Some of the most common offenses that college students are arrested for in Florida include:

  • Underage drinking
  • Minor in possession of alcohol
  • Drug offenses
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Disorderly intoxication (public intoxication) – Section 856.011
  • Criminal mischief
  • Petit theft
  • Traffic violations
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual battery
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking

A Delray Beach student defense lawyer can work tirelessly to defend students against these charges.

What are Some Potential Student Disciplinary Charges?

Most institutions of higher learning have an honor code and student code of conduct. Collectively, these policies establish standards of behavior for students and outline the disciplinary process should a violation occur. Disciplinary charges can be brought against a student for any violation of local ordinance, state or federal law, government regulation, or university policy.

Some common examples of disciplinary charges are:

  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Harassment
  • Causing physical or other harm to any person
  • Sexual assault and misconduct
  • Firearms or weapons violations
  • Hazing
  • Alcoholic beverage or controlled substance violations
  • Trespass
  • Obscene behavior

How Can an Attorney Help At Disciplinary Hearings?

The administrative disciplinary process varies from university to university, but due process guarantees students the right to be notified of the charges against them and to request a hearing before a decision is reached. At the hearing, students can present their side of the story and call witnesses their behalf. Generally speaking, a DelrayBeach student defense attorney cannot speak for the student at the hearing but can act as an advisor.

Violations of the honor code or student code of conduct can lead to a wide-range of sanctions including, but not limited to:

  • Grade penalties
  • Education requirements
  • Loss of university privileges
  • Reprimand
  • Restitution
  • Community service
  • No contact order
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

With respect to criminal allegations, the University often has the right to take disciplinary action even if the student is ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in the court system. This is because the purpose of the administrative disciplinary process is to determine whether the student violated University policy, not if they are guilty of a crime under the law.

Is there a Burden of Proof in Disciplinary Hearings?

The burden of proof in disciplinary hearings is a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the violation was more likely than not to have occurred. If the university decides to impose sanctions, the student does have the right to appeal.

Contacting a Delray Beach Student Defense Attorney

For many college students, college is the first time they experience freedom. Often that freedom is empowering and can lead to college students making important and solid choices. However, there is also the opportunity for error. If you are a parent whose child has committed a criminal offense or has violated the school’s disciplinary code, it is advisable that you contact an attorney. Let a Delray Beach student defense lawyer put their experience, knowledge, and resources to work for you.

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