Experienced Representation for Code of Conduct Violations
Are you familiar with your college or university's code of conduct?
Nestled within the pages of your official Student Handbook, you will find a formal set of ethical, professional, and legal standards you are expected to follow while you are a member of your campus's greater community. Nearly every college and university across the country – and quite a few on foreign shores – have their own code of conduct. And those rules apply to students, faculty members, administrators, and other campus employees. That's why if you aren't familiar with your school's code of conduct, it's time to give it a read.
Typically, for any institution of higher learning, the code of conduct details the responsibilities, regulations, and guidelines surrounding almost every issue that may affect campus life, from cheating on tests to whether alcohol is allowed in the dorms. In a sense, a code of conduct is much like the body of laws you'd find in a local county or town. They are there to support the institution's campus-wide commitment to integrity, diversity, honesty, and fairness.
While many schools are almost separate communities onto themselves, colleges and universities don't really have the power to enforce their codes the same way a county, city, or state might. That said, students who fail to comply with its rules will face consequences and sanctions. Such penalties can range from basic restitution to full expulsion. If you or a loved one has been received a notice of violation of your school's code of conduct, it's important to take notice – and then get the advice of an attorney-advocate who can help you best address it.
Know Your Rights – and What to Expect
If you have been accused of a code of conduct violation, you will likely receive a notice of disciplinary action or violation in your student mailbox or email. That notice will contain varying details of the allegation and, quite often, the time and date of a disciplinary committee hearing.
It's important to understand that a student code of conduct hearing is not like an appearance in a court of law. While schools are expected to have consistent procedures and safeguards around their judicial process, they can vary widely from campus to campus. This is important: because it often means that basic Constitutional rights you grew up expecting to have there to protect you – from self-incrimination to confidentiality – may not be held to the same standards as a normal U.S. court of law. Those little differences can end up meaning quite a lot if you aren't adequately prepared for them.
You have worked hard to get to college – and, with a code of conduct violation, your reputation, your tuition dollars, and your future are all at stake. It is essential that you understand this is a potentially grave situation. And that's why it is essential to have an experienced code of conduct attorney-advocate who can guide you as you navigate your school's specific practices and procedures. You need someone who will fight for you – and ensure you have the kind of strong, well-prepared defense that will get you to the most favorable outcome.
Most universities ban weapons – including guns, knives, explosives, or other incendiaries – from campus altogether. In fact, campus members are often prohibited from even having a facsimile or replica of a weapon in their possession. So that realistic-looking water gun you have? That could be in violation of your school's code. Same with mounted knives or swords that you keep for purely decorative purposes.
While you may immediately conjure an image or a gun or knife when someone mentions weapons, this category also includes things you have not considered. Batons, brass knuckles, tasers, pepper spray, bats, or even box cutters may be on your school's no-no list, depending on the situation. Some schools even go so far as to ban the mere threat of bringing a weapon to school or to school events that may be held off-campus.
With so many school-related shootings in the headlines, potential weapons violations are not something that schools take lightly. To ensure the safety of the campus, a notice of violation may sometimes go out somewhat prematurely – which is yet another reason why it is so important to have a lawyer who understands the nuances of your university's code when it comes to weapons regulations. That expertise can help you ensure that a misinterpretation of the rules or some sort of misunderstanding doesn't end up costing you your degree.
Weapons-related allegations are serious – and the penalties for a guilty finding could include a formal reprimand, school probation, a period of suspension, or even outright expulsion from school. Any one of these sanctions is something that will appear on your permanent school record – and will be something others notice when you apply for graduate school or for your first job once you receive your degree. Without question, the stakes for such a violation are quite high.
What Should I Do If I Am Accused of a Weapons Violation?
If you receive notice that you are being charged with a weapons violation, it is beneficial to immediately reach out to an experienced attorney with specific code of conduct expertise. For example, while weapons, for the most part, are banned outright from university property – there can be loopholes if the weapon in question was needed for a specific school presentation or project. In other cases, an allegation may be based on some sort of misunderstanding. Even so, a weapons violation is not a situation you can ignore or should expect to be able to talk your way out of with ease. This is a place where having the right representation matters – and matters a lot – to how the case is resolved.
For the most favorable outcome in a weapons violation hearing, rely on attorney-advocate Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. The Lento Law Firm has successfully defended countless students across the nation facing various code of conduct allegations, including weapons violations. They will fight for you and your future, too. To schedule a confidential consultation, call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online.