Alcohol and Drug Conduct Code Violations on College Campuses
While experimenting with alcohol or drugs plays a major part in campus life across the nation in colleges and universities, you may face serious penalties from your school if you are caught using drugs or alcohol. Even if you were off campus at the time, you can still face disciplinary proceedings at your school. Colleges and universities have student conduct codes in place that address alcohol and drugs. You may be charged with a violation of your school’s conduct code for possessing alcohol as a minor; possessing, selling or distributing drugs; or being intoxicated while you are on campus. If you are facing a disciplinary proceeding at your school for violating the school’s conduct code, you may need legal help. While college disciplinary proceedings may not seem as formal as criminal court proceedings, they are structured in such a way that the likelihood of being found guilty of a conduct violation is high.
Potential Consequences of Alcohol or Drug Conduct Violations
There are many potential consequences that you may suffer if you are found guilty of violating your school’s conduct codes for drugs or alcohol. If you are found guilty of a drug violation, you may lose your financial aid and your ability to receive federal educational loans in the future. You may also lose any scholarships that you have, and you may be kicked out of student housing. In the worst-case scenario, you may be expelled from your college. These disciplinary proceedings are high-stakes hearings in reality because they have the potential of disrupting your education and your future career. An adjudication of conduct code violations for alcohol or drugs will also be placed on your academic records, meaning that you may have greater difficulty finding employment in the future.
How an Attorney Might Help
University hearing boards are normally made up of faculty and students who often do not have any legal training. This means that they may not be aware of certain legal protections that you should have and that they should observe. At many of these hearings, it is common for the rules that are used to be slanted against your rights. The disciplinary hearing board may approach your case as if you are guilty before you even arrive, ignoring that you should be considered to be innocent until you are proven guilty. This may result in your receiving an outcome that is unfair to you.
It is very important for you to contact an experienced attorney as soon as you learn that you are facing a college disciplinary proceeding for violations of your school’s alcohol or drug conduct codes. If your case involves drug possession, distribution or sales allegations, you may also end up facing criminal charges. In this situation, having an attorney is highly important because anything that you say in your school’s disciplinary proceeding may be later used against you in your criminal case. Your attorney may work to protect your rights in your hearing in order to ensure that it is a fair proceeding. At the hearing, he or she may call witnesses who are favorable to you, present evidence on your behalf and cross-examine any witnesses who testify against you. Your lawyer may also object to witness statements, pieces of evidence that are being used against you or to questions that do not comport with the legal requirements of the rules of evidence.
While facing a disciplinary proceeding at your college or university may seem overwhelming, having an attorney on your side to advocate for you can help you to navigate through the process. It is important for you to seek help as soon as possible. When you retain a lawyer early in the process, your lawyer may be better equipped to investigate the allegations and to build a strong defense to the charges on your behalf. You may also be able to secure a more successful outcome with your lawyer’s help than you might be able to receive on your own. Schedule your consultation today to learn more about the rights that you have in your case.