When a student has received a disciplinary charge, they should call an attorney or ask their parents to do so immediately. They do not want to delay obtain an attorney as schools have their own unique codes of conduct and processes. Many of them allow for the student to be found responsible, even if they do not appear or if they choose not to respond, which would most likely be to the student’s detriment. Also, these processes move much faster than a typical criminal case might take.
If you are facing Philadelphia student disciplinary charges, you should call today. Let an experienced student defense lawyer fight for you.
Some of the most common types of Philadelphia student disciplinary charges that come up are sexual assault, rape charges, domestic violence, academic-related charges such as dishonesty or plagiarism, cyberstalking, and bullying. Also common, but not always leading to a disciplinary hearing include underage drinking, public drunkenness, possession of alcohol, possession of fake ID, and drug possession.
There are several things a student should avoid doing after receiving notice of charges. If a student receives notice via email that they have charges against them, the first thing to avoid is responding directly with any version of events or factual description of what happened via email. Any statements that are made in written form would be preserved and used against them at a hearing.
Second, they want to avoid ignoring it as if the problem will go away. These hearings could be held in the student’s absence. They could be found responsible and given a sanction, even if they fail to appear.
Third, they want to avoid talking to other students about these charges or the alleged sanction emails, because these students might be witnesses against them and brought to the hearing by the school or the complainant.
The most important thing to do when facing Philadelphia student disciplinary charges is to contact someone who could speak to them confidentially and give them advice, which will an attorney or their parents contacting a student defense lawyer.
One of the most intimidating aspects of receiving notice of college or university disciplinary charges is that these notices often come out of the blue and require quick action. Sometimes, the student has no prior notice or expectation that they did anything warranting a hearing and then they suddenly get an email that they have a discipline hearing coming up. Another intimidating aspect is that the college disciplinary proceedings are very different from normal legal proceedings, so even if they have knowledge of the law, the school proceeding is completely different. Also, it just may be confusing for the student to figure out what their rights are and how to defend themselves. For that reason, the student defense lawyer could come to their aid and be their vocal advocate.
The value of contacting a student defense lawyer early in the process is advice from the first notice on what the next steps are and how to best prepare early for a hearing. This includes contacting and preparing for the appearance of any witnesses and collection of any documents for the initial hearings instead of only being able to do so at a later hearing. Some of the hearings that are listed by a school may not be continued without agreement by both parties. If the school does not agree to delay the hearing, a student may have to move forward without all of the witnesses and evidence that they wish to present.
By starting early, the student defense lawyer could gather all information and prepare the student for the first hearing. They could also advise the student on how to best respond to any informal questions about the incident if they are raised by other students, teachers, or dean staff that might try and speak to the student before the hearing takes place.
A student defense attorney could help those who have received college disciplinary charges by walking them through their particular school procedures, explain what is going to be coming next at each step, conducting their own student investigation about the disciplinary charges, and making requests to review what has been provided to the school about the situation and evidence presented. Then, they could help minimize the damage that this could have to a student’s academic and professional career following college.
Call a seasoned lawyer today if you are facing Philadelphia student disciplinary charges.