Philadelphia and the surrounding area is home to a number of well-respected colleges and universities, which means thousands of college students are interacting with one another and with the community every day. Many of these students are away from home for the first time and some may even feel invincible and like trouble won't touch them.
Unfortunately, this scenario isn't always the reality of going to school in the city, and some students may find themselves accused of violating their school's code of conduct or worse — breaking local or state laws.
If you are found in violation of the school code of conduct, you can be subject to penalties and sanctions, ranging from a warning or reprimand to probation, suspension, or even expulsion. These punishments could end up affecting not only your academic career and internships and externships, but the consequences could also reach even further into your future employment.
With so much at stake, the time to begin preparing your defense is now. If you are a student at a Philadelphia college or university and facing disciplinary proceedings, contact an experienced student disciplinary hearing advisor who can guide you through the process and make sure your rights are represented.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has assisted countless students at disciplinary proceedings in schools in and around Philadelphia, including Drexel University, St. Joseph's University, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and many others — and he can help you, too.
Common Offenses That Result in Disciplinary Proceedings
While any infraction of a school's code of conduct can lead to disciplinary proceedings — anything from having a prohibited item in student housing to noise complaints — several serious offenses may even bring about criminal charges.
These include the following:
· Underage Drinking
· Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
· Possession of a Fake ID
· Traffic Offenses
· Firearm or Other Weapon Charges
· Domestic Violence
· Title IX Sexual Misconduct
· Theft and Other Crimes Involving Property
· Internet or Cyber Crimes
· White-Collar Crime
· Violent Crimes
If you are facing criminal charges, it is all the more important for you to get legal representation immediately. Because school disciplinary proceedings are separate from the criminal justice system, though, an advisor experienced in student disciplinary hearings specifically is also highly recommended.
Disciplinary Hearing Process
The disciplinary process begins when you receive notice of the accusations against you. You will likely be asked to appear at an informal hearing, during which you can accept or deny the charges levied against you. You may also be able to request a formal hearing.
If you choose to fight the charges against you, it is important to know that you retain many rights throughout the process. You have the right to review and challenge documents, evidence, or testimony against you, and you may also call witnesses. Depending on the school involved, you may also choose to testify, or you can refrain from making any statements as guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, which protects individuals from self-incrimination.
Get an Experienced Student Disciplinary Hearing Advisor On Your Side
A skilled advisor can guide you through this entire process. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience assisting local Philadelphia students in defending themselves in student disciplinary proceedings and also in court as needed. If you find yourself facing disciplinary action by your school, contact Joseph D. Lento online today or call 888-535-3686 today to discuss your case.