Is an attorney necessary for a student conduct violation?

| Dec 30, 2020 | Student Conduct Violations |

If a case manager has contacted you about a potential student conduct violation, it is important to take the matter very seriously. While that is especially true if the charge involves a local, state or federal crime, any offense that violates your school’s code of conduct can have serious consequences. 

In addition to the possibility of probation, suspension or expulsion, a proven conduct violation may stay on your record for years to come. That can have a lasting impact on your future opportunities, including financial aid, grad school applications and job searches. 

Why consult an attorney?

Regardless of the charge against you, know that the board should not assume that a verbal or written report of the incident is accurate or complete. Conduct hearings should be fact-finding sessions during which you and university staff discuss the alleged offense respectfully and equitably. 

Unfortunately, a case manager may attempt to pressure you into admitting a conduct violation before you fully understand the allegation and the potential consequences. 

Before your conduct hearing, you may want to consider contacting an attorney who can guide you through the process, protect your rights and determine how to minimize potential damage to your education and future career. 

In fact, many universities both allow and encourage students to bring an advisor to the conduct hearing. 

How can an attorney help, specifically?

An advisor cannot speak on your behalf during the hearing itself. However, an attorney with experience in student conduct hearings should be able to help you identify your options, prepare and present relevant information about the incident and avoid answering leading questions that may be unintentionally self-incriminating.