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Criminal charges and university disciplinary hearings

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When a university student in North Carolina is facing criminal charges, it can feel like a battle on two fronts. As a result of the criminal charges, the student could be facing jail or prison time, probation, fines, and court-ordered community service. In addition, the student can also face disciplinary actions from the university itself. 

Learning more about what to expect can help you better assist in your own defense.

Under what circumstances might a university take action?

If the student was found in possession of drugs on campus, or faces allegations of sexual assault, the university often conducts swift disciplinary hearings. This can happen long before the criminal case has concluded.  

If the allegations are regarding something that didn’t occur on campus but involved another student, university staff, or faculty; the student could also face university discipline. 

If the crime had nothing to do with the university whatsoever, then the university can still take disciplinary action if the charges result in a conviction, due to some student codes of conduct including a prohibition against breaking laws. 

What disciplinary actions can a university take?

Depending on a myriad of factors, universities can take the following disciplinary actions:

  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Probation
  • Drug counseling
  • Anger management counseling
  • Community service

Universities may take any of the above actions independently from criminal courts. 

Do university hearings have different rules than criminal court?

Yes. University hearings often take place long before criminal proceedings. Being completely separated from the court system, universities have different procedures and policies. For example, usually, students do not have the right to remain silent in a university hearing. 

To fight a battle on both fronts, legal representation that is experienced in protecting the rights of college students is vital. Your entire future shouldn’t hinge on one mistake.