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Colleges and universities across the country have all kinds of policies and procedures in place as part of their code of conduct. This code of conduct typically lays out both expectations and prohibitions for students, often in a student handbook.

The challenging part is that when students are accused of behaving in a way that goes against these codes of conduct, schools sometimes have different ways of handling these situations and enacting very different rules that range in restrictions. Penalties can range from removal from clubs and activities to disciplinary hearings, suspensions, and even expulsions.

When a conduct accusation stands in the way of your education – and your future – it can be hard to know where to turn. A seasoned student defense attorney can provide confidential advice from the outset and guide you through your institution’s unique policies, practices, rules, and regulations to ensure you fully leverage your rights and help reduce the impact of any allegations and findings.

At DC Student Defense, we provide experienced defense to college students nationwide who have been accused of violations of their code of conduct.

“DC Student Defense helped me specifically with an alleged university violation - I could have faced suspension or expulsion. With their help I was able to come to a reasonable conclusion with the school that allowed me to learn from my mistakes and still graduate with honors. Very reliable and accurate service, timely, and knowledgeable about a huge variety of legal matters for students.”

Mike J.

Are My School’s Rules Enforceable?

With so many new rules to learn and large inconveniences for student life, some students choose to avoid dealing with these rules and instead assume that the school could never enforce such regulations.

But this could be a dangerous mindset. 

It’s important to learn as much as you can about your school’s regulations.

For the most part, off-campus behavior is very difficult for a college or university to enforce. And many public universities have no jurisdiction with students once they leave campus. 

However, anything that occurs on-campus and particularly in the classroom setting will certainly be enforceable.

Common Code of Conduct Allegations

There are all kinds of allegations you may be facing, but some of the most common student conduct code violations include:

Although some violations may seem less severe than others, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you are accused of any conduct code infractions.

How Does the College Disciplinary Process Work?

Here’s a general overview of what the process looks like once a student has been accused of a violation:

  1. The process begins when the university becomes aware of an alleged violation, either through a report from campus security, faculty, staff, or other students.
  2. The school will then inform the student of the alleged offense.
  3. The university will begin an investigation, which involves gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. (In cases that include criminal charges, as well, university administrators and hearing boards may work with law enforcement against the student in a criminal prosecution, which is another reason why it’s so important to speak to your attorney before making any statements to the school.)
  4. The student will be asked to meet with a university official to discuss the allegations and the disciplinary process, and be informed of their rights and responsibilities.
  5. The student will need to prepare for a hearing. This is an ideal time to contact a student defense attorney, if you haven’t already.
  6. A hearing is conducted before a disciplinary board or administrator. Both the student and the university present their cases, including evidence and witness testimony.
  7. The disciplinary board or administrator deliberates and determines whether the student is responsible for the violation.
  8. If the student is found responsible, sanctions are imposed. Sanctions can range from a warning or probation to more severe penalties like suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the violation.
  9. The student may have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process involves reviewing the case for procedural errors, new evidence, or disproportionate sanctions.

It’s vital to have a student defense attorney by your side throughout this process, regardless of the severity of your accusations, in order to ensure your rights are protected.

Hire an Experienced, Nationwide Student Defense Attorney Today

Schedule a consultation with DC Student Defense before you discuss the matter with school officials. Even if you think you’re speaking off the record, you might later discover those words can be used against you. It’s best to bring in an experienced student defense lawyer to help you navigate the disciplinary proceedings and protect your good name at your school.

“Attorney Shanlon Wu and his team have been amazing advocates for my college sophomore and our family as we navigate through an alleged violation. The inconsistency with how Universities hand out disciplines across, and within, Universities, is something that no parent can handle alone. With Attorney Wu's team, my child has been able to return to campus and continue his education. I highly recommend him.”

Claire C.
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