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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Campus Disciplinary Hearings in Philadelphia

When facing university charges, there is a process for most hearings. In general, campus hearings lack basic procedural safeguards that are in a criminal courtroom or a civil courtroom. Campus disciplinary hearings in Philadelphia often contain informal conversations in which a student is speaking on their own behalf, and some determination of guilt or finding of involvement may lead to sanctions.

The exception for more serious and formal hearings is when someone is threatened to be expelled. In this scenario, students in Pennsylvania are typically entitled to more due process and a formal hearing. This will usually be held by an official board or committee that would reach a decision of majority vote. Read below for more information about campus disciplinary hearings. If you have any questions, get in touch with a seasoned student defense lawyer.

The Public Education Act of 1949

Campus disciplinary hearings in Philadelphia are required to be fair and equitable and have notifications sent. In addition, the Public Education Act of 1949 provides the following:

  • Three days’ notice of the time and place of a hearing must be given to the student along with a copy of the expulsion policy and notice that legal counsel may represent a student at hearing procedures.
  • The student is provided with a private hearing unless a public hearing is requested.
  • A lawyer could represent students at a hearing when expulsion is the sanction. The lawyer could be paid by the parent.
  • Students could be provided the names of witnesses as well as copies of statements and affidavits.
  • They have an opportunity to request the witnesses appear in person and answer questions or be cross-examined.
  • The student will have a chance to testify and present witnesses on their own behalf.
  • There is a written or audio recording of the hearing.
  • The proceeding shall be held in 15 school days within notification of charges unless mutually agreed upon by both parties.
  • They get notified of the right to appeal the result of the hearing with the expulsion decision.

Private Representation at a Hearing

At certain hearings, someone could have private representation. Usually, the more serious the charge and the more serious the potential sanction, such as a formal hearing for alleged sexual misconduct, the more opportunity for private representation to be present and for a lawyer to be allowed into the picture by the school’s procedures.

Student Advocates

A student could bring an advocate, friend, parent, or teacher in the more informal hearings and in some formal settings. There will still be some institutions, especially at the early pretrial or prehearing phases, that do not allow for any person to be present besides the student and school administrator.

How an Attorney Could Help

In these different types of hearings, a lawyer could help students strategize for what to present, at what time, and who should go with them to attend these hearings. If the lawyer is allowed to be present, they could conduct a cross-examination of the witnesses, review the evidence, and gather and present evidence on their own. An attorney could advocate for you during campus disciplinary hearings in Philadelphia. Call today.