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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Campus Vs. Criminal Charges in Philadelphia

A university disciplinary charge may begin the same way as a civil or criminal charge with an arrest or interaction with the police. However, after an arrest, the proceedings are usually different. Following the initial arrest, the next step usually involves the school acting as arbitrator, prosecutor, and decision-maker, so the school holds a special role in these proceedings.

Also, these proceedings happen on a more rapid schedule than a criminal or civil case, which might happen over the course of several months or a year. These school hearings could be completed in a matter of days or weeks. Finally, the standard of proof is different in these types of cases on a university campus and in involves hearings versus a courtroom.

In terms of similarity, they both have some level of a complaining witness, whether it is a police officer who observes something or a person who claims something happened to them. They both have effects on the student charged and they both are best served by having someone else there to ask questions and make statements on the student’s behalf instead of the student trying to do all of these things on their own. As always, whatever the student says could be used against them or misinterpreted from what they meant to say or intended to say.

Call today for more information about campus vs. criminal charges in Philadelphia. An experienced student defense lawyer could protect your rights and advocate for you.

Consequences of a Campus Charge

The possible consequences of being charged or found guilty of university misconduct are numerous. There is a range of penalties for students, such as restitution, community service, or educational classes on the lighter end. On the more serious side, there is expulsion, suspension, and being removed from student housing. For student-athletes, there could be different consequences like being forbidden from playing a sport or a loss of scholarship.

Even an off-campus arrest could have an impact on their school status, ability to stay enrolled in a school, and their educational opportunities for graduate school if they have disciplinary hearings and disciplinary findings on their record. Even if local state police do not get involved, interaction with deans or other relevant witnesses that claim that the student has violated the school code could lead to repercussions for the student.

An individual facing these consequences should reach out to an accomplished defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Prosecution by the School and State

Students could be prosecuted both at the university level and at the state level for an alleged offense. They could receive school penalties and at the same time, they could be prosecuted by the state, which would have their own penalties. The state’s penalties will usually be criminal penalties of probation, jail time, forced fines, and/or restitution.

Do Campus and Local Police Work Togher on an Arrest?

Campus and local police may communicate or work together on an arrest. Some local police forces are authorized by statute to have limited jurisdiction to make arrests. This would be the on-campus police at universities such as the Temple Police. These student-focused police officers are often called by district attorneys in state-level cases. Additionally, a school might have access to or hear the result of any criminal charge and initiate a hearing based on that case.

Being Arrested by Local Police

If arrested off-campus by local police, the school may still find out. Depending on the nature of the charge and who else is present, it is safe for a student to assume that the school will become aware and that they should contact a lawyer.

A Student Defense Attorney Could Help

In several Pennsylvania universities, an outside lawyer could represent students in a university hearing. They could come in the role of counselor or advocate, and they will be allowed to conduct the person’s hearing. In schools in other areas, lawyers are not allowed to be present but they could help prepare the student for the hearing.

A student defense attorney could help defendants who have been arrested to make informed decisions, regardless of where and how the arrest takes place and inform them on what kind of charges they are facing. Also, after a student’s arrested, the first steps could be reviewing the student’s options for the criminal matter and preparing for the disciplinary hearing if one is scheduled to take place.

Call today to learn more about campus vs. criminal charges in Philadelphia and how an attorney could help you.