The most common charges a fraternity or sorority can as a group include hazing, underage drinking, destruction of property, illegal drug possession or distribution, and conspiracy charges all related to activities that take place in the sorority or fraternity environment. These charges can lead to significant penalties and long-term repercussions. Fortunately, a seasoned lawyer who is knowledgeable about fraternity and sorority charges in Philadelphia could help. Reach out to an accomplished student defense attorney today.
In Philadelphia, hazing is one of the most common crimes committed within a fraternity or sorority. Hazing charges are when a person intentionally and knowingly for the purpose of initiating or admitting someone causes or coerces students to do certain activities. The reason they are so common is that sororities and fraternities have for a long time had rituals and initiation rites that could be misconstrued as hazing. Many of these activities are perfectly harmless, collegial, and designed to increase group bonding. Hazing has gained attention due to the media reporting on dangerous activities conducted in fraternities and sororities.
Hazing is a separate charge that has its own grading and can be charged together with simple assault, aggravated assault, or sexual crimes such as aggravated sexual assault, indecent assault, or other crimes.
Hazing can lead to criminal charges as well as campus charges. This means the defendant or defendants could be facing penalties from the university as well as from the criminal courts.
For fraternities and sororities specifically, Section 2804 organizational hazing, is an organization’s action to intentionally facilitate or promote violation of the hazing law, and it is a fine of more than $5,000 for each violation or $15,000 for violations of the aggravated hazing law. The court could give out any other relief that it deems equitable for this type of crime beyond just the fines.
Any hazing charges could happen either against the head organization, if they are deemed to have knowledge of what is happening within the organization, or charged as a conspiracy amongst many people in the organization if others were present or involved and engaged in the hazing activity. This is also true if the fraternity or sorority has engaged in other activities such as underage drinking, drug use, or destruction of property.
The students can receive suspension, expulsion, or probation for engaging in criminal activities. Student groups and universities are taking hazing much more seriously in recent years, treating it as a subset of bullying. Also, entire organizations can be put on school disciplinary probation if all members are deemed to be present and knowledgeable about the hazing activity. Furthermore, the organization itself could have its ability to operate on campus suspended or canceled entirely.
If you have any questions about fraternity and sorority charges in Philadelphia and how an attorney could help, call today. A skilled lawyer could fight for you and help you reach a favorable outcome to your case. Crimes committed on campus can lead to significant consequences, which can adversely impact your future. Call today and set up a consultation.