Student and academic conduct code violations can lead to a range of sanctions, including eviction from campus housing, interim suspensions, and expulsion, even when the violations do not result in criminal charges. Allegations of misconduct require parents, guardians, and students to manage unfamiliar policies and procedures, and often, the accused find themselves unprepared.
If a college student is charged with an academic code violation, it threatens his or her academic standing and future opportunities. Students may face questions of plagiarism, cheating, or fabrication, all of which garner considerable penalties. As colleges have shifted to virtual platforms, colleges and universities are bringing more allegations of online misconduct such as cheating on exams, online impersonation, plagiarism, disorderly conduct, and bullying. Having an advisor who knows how universities operate is key, and our lawyers help the accused evaluate the charges, identify potential witnesses, review and analyze exams and other written work, and prepare for hearings.
Student Code Misconduct
Universities and colleges expect students to adhere to certain rules and regulations guiding behavior, both in on- and off-campus housing; when rules on drug and alcohol use, noise ordinances, hazing, theft, use of fake I.D.s, destruction of community or school property; or residential conduct are broken, the institution is likely to hand down severe penalties. Arrests and criminal charges create additional complexities because university violations can result even if charges that are dismissed, or students may face parallel investigations and punishments. Cohen Seglias attorneys draw on their experience in criminal law, as well as with student code violations, to advise individuals facing such charges. When handling these issues, we strive to minimize the disruption to the student’s education and to obtain an outcome that protects his/her standing at the university.
Accusations of sexual assault brought by a university or college will involve a school’s Title IX policies, but may also involve a criminal investigation, and so any Title IX defense must also involve protecting against possible criminal charges, conviction, registration as a sex offender and jail time. Being found responsible for a Title IX violation can have devastating academic and professional consequences, including suspension, expulsion, and difficulty with transfers to other schools, graduate school, and employment.
Cohen Seglias’ Title IX group is led by former federal prosecutors who have handled hundreds of criminal and sexual assault cases, and who pair their knowledge of the criminal justice system with an understanding of university disciplinary proceedings. Each school handles matters differently, and sometimes the processes on paper may not match what actually happens to a student accused of sexual assault. Our attorneys advise students at every step in the process, providing guidance on procedures, fact-finding, identification of witnesses, correspondence with authorities, and, when necessary, appeals.