College Dismissal Attorney - Missouri

College students facing disciplinary boards must endure stringent, fast-paced grievance proceedings that put their academic futures at risk. When the school administration hands down their final decision to suspend or expel a student, it can leave young adults fearing their opportunity to obtain a four-year degree has ended once that threshold has been crossed. While the disciplinary process at Missouri institutions of higher education is complex and can be emotionally overwhelming, that does not mean the chance to defend yourself has passed.  

Although many students and parents do not retain professional assistance until it is late in the process and sanctions have been administered, options for redress are available to keep students in school. Local Missouri lawyers may advertise aggressive strategies involving litigation against the school, supporting their claims with their experience in a court of law. However, courtroom competency does not often translate into the prowess needed to negotiate one-on-one with school administration officials for a more positive outcome for the student.  

Your goal should not be to engage your school in legal proceedings that could last for months or even years that cause a student for harm in the end. Your intention should be to gain prompt mitigation from harsh punishments like suspension or expulsion that gets you back toward completing your education. It is imperative that you contact a college dismissal attorney like Joseph D. Lento immediately to preserve your academic and professional future. 

Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions 

When disciplinary boards levy punishments like suspension or expulsion over unsatisfactory academic progress or various violations of the school's code of conduct, the student can appeal the decision. As part of the grievance process in Missouri colleges and universities, a student will receive notice of the time they have to file an appeal, guidelines for the process, and restrictions.   

Most institutions of higher education in Missouri and elsewhere explain in their codes of conduct the few circumstances under which appeals are allowed. Northwest Missouri State University details that students can file requests for appeals for the following reasons: 

  1. Excessive penalties: The sanctions imposed on the student are not appropriate for the charges considered after determining responsibility.  
  2. New evidence emerges: In matters appealed on the grounds of new evidence, such evidence must have been unavailable or undiscoverable during the hearing process. 
  3. Lack of due process: The adjudicatory process failed to conform to the prescribed procedures outlined in the school's code of conduct. The accused party was not given a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present their argument before the disciplinary board.  

Students have little time to waste after the administration has determined responsibility regarding the misconduct charges to appeal the decision to suspend or expel. Typically, the timeframe is between two and ten days, but it varies from school to school. At Saint Louis University, for example, the timeframe is three calendar days.  

Upon reviewing the appeal, the school's governing body will hand down a decision that cannot be reversed. According to Missouri State University, their appellate authority can do the following: 

  • Affirm the finding 
  • Deny the appeal 
  • Modify the consequences 
  • Remand the matter to the original hearing authority to reopen the case 
  • Reverse the finding 

Nevertheless, a student experiencing their academic career and future opportunities threatened may become overwhelmed. This can leave them believing there is nothing to fight for and depart the school. They may also be asking themselves:  

  • Do these punishments fit the charge? 
  • Has new evidence emerged? 
  • How can infringements on due process be proven? 

Most students are not prepared for these situations, especially when they are when focused on their studies. Therefore, they need a professional to guide them through the process. 

Separation From Studies  

School administration officials may move to separate a student from the institution for a failure to achieve "satisfactory academic progress" (SAP). At Avila University, if a student is required to withdraw completely from classes because of multiple academic violations before completing 61 percent of the academic term, they must return any unearned portion of federal financial aid. 

Moreover, at the University of Missouri, a student can be temporarily suspended pending formal grievance procedures if the Chancellor believes it is conducive to maintaining the status quo on campus. Another hearing would then commence determining the future status of the student in addition to the original misconduct hearing. 

Schools in Missouri sometimes make errors in applying these policies. They can place burdensome consequences on students unfairly dismissed because they did not consider extenuating circumstances that may have led to their grades dropping or being targeted for misconduct allegations.  

These circumstances can include many unfortunate but relatively common life events such as: 

  • Death of a family member 
  • Personal injury 
  • Physical or mental illness 
  • Tough transition into student life 

Hardworking and honest students of good character are at risk of being disciplined and losing their opportunity to obtain a four-year degree. It is important to remember that the grievance process is not the same as a court of law, and a school is not required to grant a student due process. Schools do not hesitate to separate students from their studies between the streams of federal funds a school may enjoy and attempts to paint a particular public image in today's political and cultural climate. 

Just because your Missouri college or university has given up on you, that does not mean you should. Do not sit idly by and let them ruin your academic career and future opportunities with unjust discipline. Instead, retain professional assistance and preserve your chances of gaining the education you want.  

Even if your school has already levied punishment against you, there is a path leading to relief. You must contact college dismissal attorney Joseph D. Lento and the expert team at the Lento Law Firm. They have prudent, practical experience defending students against harsh disciplinary sanctions in Missouri and across the country. 

What Are The Consequences of Suspension or Expulsion? 

The stakes are high when a Missouri student faces suspension or expulsion for lack of academic progress or misconduct allegations. Unless effectively challenged by a college dismissal attorney, a separation from school ends their opportunity to complete their degree. Yet, it can also prohibit a student's transfer to or enrollment in other schools. 

For instance, a student suspended or expelled from the State Technical College of Missouri will be trespassed banned from the campus and all related university events, including those off-campus. At the University of Missouri, students suspended for misconduct will have special requirements that they must fulfill before they are allowed to apply for readmission.  

Terms of separation can impact a student's financial aid. If a student has to reimburse the federal government, it will cause long-lasting economic consequences, including ruining a student's credit score. This could lead to someone working hard for years to qualify for a loan on a house, or car, or to finish their education.  

Suspended and expelled students must also disclose disciplinary sanctions on various applications like: 

  • Behavioral counseling licenses 
  • Federal clearances 
  • Government internships 
  • Graduate school applications 
  • Law enforcement applications 

What Can Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Do? 

When you are faced with a suspension or expulsion from school, you may believe that a local Missouri lawyer advertising their services on a town billboard is the best person to call to fix the situation. After all, they are a part of the community and will defend you properly, right? This incorrect reasoning can lead you to suffer the consequences mentioned above and derail your academic and professional career just because you did not know where to turn.  

Joseph D. Lento is a proven expert in handling student disciplinary cases. His team at the Lento Law Firm has represented hundreds of students in Missouri and throughout the U.S. They have always fought against school administration officials to protect their clients and preserve their futures. 

Attorneys typically begin with issuing threats of lawsuits at Missouri colleges and universities when students retain their help in the attempt to remain in school. However, that is not a strategy that will provide a more favorable outcome. While a formal suit is a possible strategy, in many instances, Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have brokered a beneficial resolution on behalf of the student with the school's Office of General Counsel (OGC). 

Countless experiences like that have helped Lento and his team form fruitful working relationships with many representatives in schools' internal OGC and those retained by the school from outside firms. Lento and his team know how to help school administration officials view more positive options that serve both the student and the institution far better than suspension, expulsion, or other harsh punitive measures.  

For expert advice from a proven college dismissal attorney defending students in Missouri and throughout the U.S., call 888-535-3686 to discuss how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can defend you or seek an online consultation. Your academic future depends on it.   

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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