Colleges and Universities adhere to a set of predetermined rules and guidelines that they make available to every student through their code of conduct. These can vary from school to school, but generally the enforcement of violations remains the same. Students can expect that corrective action will take place through a disciplinary board that first reviews the complaint, then schedules a hearing to review information from both parties. They will make a decision on the misconduct and any discipline they decide on will be instituted right away.
How Serious is a Disciplinary Hearing?
Disciplinary hearings are much more serious than most college students are prepared for. They will have to confidently argue their side of the case in a very intimidating environment. The disciplinary panel is not friendly, nor do they assume innocence. Even if a student is telling the truth, the burden will be on the student to prove it. They will not be taken at their word. If not properly prepared, the student can face repercussions that will follow them through their academic and future job careers. Some violations can even end with jail time.
In these meetings, it is not uncommon for a student to be overwhelmed with questions and thrown off guard by being presumed guilty. If they only rely on telling the truth or shrug off the need to prepare, they can end up utterly frustrated and their recollection of the incident can sound confusing to others. This is not a place where a student will be given second chances or the room to gather their thoughts. They need to be thoroughly versed in what to expect, say and present before they step one foot in the door.
Students can easily wrap themselves in a false sense of security, but they do not realize that a school won’t hesitate to suspend or expel if they feel it is warranted. It is important to retain legal counsel right away. A lawyer can help a student to win their hearing by preparing them properly for what they will face. They will also ensure a fair hearing, with ample time to gather evidence and prepare for the case.
Manchester & Associates handles numerous cases of academic or disciplinary violations including:
- Title IX Sexual Misconduct
- Underage Drinking
- Residential Misconduct
- And so many more disciplinary violations
Can a Student Appeal a Decision?
The best outcomes are achieved when an attorney is sought the moment a student becomes aware of allegations. This gives the student the best chance at preparing and winning their hearing in front of the school’s disciplinary panel. Sometimes students don’t realize how serious the hearing was until they lose their hearing and are strapped with strict and severe consequences. Others may have thought they were well prepared, but the reality is that most students have never been in an investigation or courtroom, so they do not know how to fully prepare. Even if the college has already made their determination, an attorney can help by appealing the decision. This will force the school to reevaluate their decision, though it must be based on valid grounds, not merely the fact that a student is not satisfied with the outcome. An attorney can help gather the evidence and maximize a student’s chances of being granted an appeal.
Manchester & Associates Defense
Contact Manchester & Associates today for help if your student is facing a disciplinary hearing or needs to appeal a decision. The extensive experience in our firm in all types of college discipline will maximize the chances of success.