As a Firm that helps university students defend their reputations and futures, we know all-too-well the high cost of accusations. Allegations of wrongdoing may lead to several negative consequences, including formal sanctions like suspension.
Universities have broad powers to adjudicate any allegation of wrongdoing. Too often, university students don't receive the due process that they're entitled to. Mere allegations may materialize into a suspension more quickly than you could ever suspect.
Get legal help as soon as you possibly can. Your school may have already begun the disciplinary process, and attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento will work quickly to craft your defense.
Allegations That May Lead to a Suspension
Your university's policies will dictate what qualifies as a suspendable offense. A suspension may arise from allegations of:
- Academic misconduct
- Sexual misconduct
- Criminal behavior
- Drug or alcohol use
- Low scholarship
- Violating your school's code of conduct in any other way
A university does not necessarily have to have convincing evidence of your guilt to impose a suspension. It may use the lesser “preponderance of the evidence” standard, in which it must only determine that you are “more likely than not” to have committed an alleged offense.
Even if you have committed an alleged act of wrongdoing or performed poorly academically, a suspension is not a given. An effective defense by an attorney-advisor may help you avoid the high cost of suspensions.
The consequences of a suspension may include:
Greater Risk of Dismissal or Dropout
Studies have suggested a correlation between suspensions from academic institutions and dropout rates. A suspension may contribute to a future dismissal or dropout from your school because:
- Your school may be more likely to resort to dismissal if you've already endured lesser forms of discipline like a suspension
- A suspension may affect your financial aid status, which may affect your decision of whether to remain at your current university
- A suspension may have a harmful psychological or emotional effect that detracts from future academic performance
A suspension may do irreparable damage to your reputation with your university. If you receive a suspension and you're accused of any significant offense in the future, then your school may not hesitate to dismiss you.
A Permanent Blemish on Your Student File
While some sanctions may not go on your student file, a suspension certainly will. You may not be able to expunge a suspension from your record under any circumstances—your best chance to avoid the black eye of a suspension is to defend yourself before you receive a suspension. Also, appealing any suspension that you do receive is imperative.
A suspension may not take effect until you've exhausted the appeals process. Now is the time to fight if you're facing a possible suspension.
Loss of Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Other University-Provided Benefits
Your university may revoke financial aid, scholarships, housing, and other benefits because of your suspension. The ramifications of lost benefits can be monumental. Depending on your financial status, losing scholarships could even lead you to leave your university temporarily or permanently.
With American students and graduates holding a collective $1.6 trillion in debt and many enduring overwhelming debt-related stress, you must consider the financial consequences of a suspension.
Difficulty Gaining Quality Employment
College graduates today face a plethora of challenges. With pandemic conditions causing large segments of the workforce to find new employment, you may have to compete not just with your graduating class but also with job-seekers across many age brackets.
A suspension on your record is a strike against you that will certainly harm your job prospects. Even if you're otherwise highly qualified for a position, a prospective employer will undoubtedly view a suspension in a negative light.
Whether directly or indirectly, a suspension may:
- Lead specific employers not to offer you interview opportunities
- Present uncomfortable conversations during the interview process
- Be the difference between you and other finalists for a professional position
- Be a barrier to certain credentialing processes
The extent to which a suspension affects your employment may depend on the nature of the offense that you are suspended for. Your ability to explain your suspension in an understandable light may also mitigate professional harm. That being said, your best option is to avoid a suspension altogether.
Difficulty Gaining Entrance to Graduate Programs
Any graduate program you hope to enter may be highly selective. Just like prospective employers, graduate school entrance boards will have questions about your suspension. If you cannot answer these questions in a satisfactory manner—or even if you can—then your suspension may be held against you.
What to Do If You're Facing a Suspension
The economic and social costs of suspending students are great. Nevertheless, we know that universities don't consider these costs when it comes to individual cases. If the disciplinary body at your college determines that you've committed a suspension-worthy offense, the outcome is predictable—you'll be suspended.
Now is the time to accept help from someone who specializes in student defense. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney who passionately defends students like you. He understands the disciplinary process and what is at stake for students facing suspension.
The Lento Law Firm team will:
- Gather all relevant facts and evidence related to your case
- Determine the most effective defense
- Guide you through the disciplinary process, defending your rights along the way
- Provide a comprehensive defense during any disciplinary hearing that your university conducts
- Complete any necessary appeal
Attorney Joseph D. Lento can also negotiate with your school's Office of General Counsel (OGC). The OGC may offer to resolve your case in a manner that you will be pleased with. Facing the specter of a possible lawsuit, the OGC may prefer to negotiate a resolution that all parties can live with.
Hire the Lento Law Firm to Fight for You
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento makes student discipline defense his priority. Attorney Lento and his team will seek the best possible case outcome for you. Don't let your university impose unilateral sanctions without a fight. Call us today at (888) 535-3686 to discuss your case.