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Maryland Student Disciplinary Charges
Disciplinary charges on a university campus can have various ramifications depending on what kind of charge is being alleged. These charges can range from those that are not necessarily illegal, but are against the campus policies, such as cheating on an exam or plagiarizing a paper, to those that might have illegal ramifications, like possession of narcotics, underage drinking, providing alcohol to minors or other activities that are more serious, like a criminal assault.
No matter which type, these charges can be extremely intimidating and can carry serious ramifications from the university, such as suspension or expulsion or in some cases even criminal charges, such as probation or incarceration, should the case be criminally prosecuted by the court system. As a result, it is important you consult with a Maryland student defense lawyer as soon as possible so they can protect your rights, and ensure that you are putting forth the strongest defense for both the university hearings and any criminal hearings.
Most Common Disciplinary Charges On College Campuses
The most common categories at universities or colleges are things like cheating, plagiarism, harassment or mistreatment of another student. Basically, it is anything in the university’s handbook expected of the students’ campus community that might be against that code of conduct set up by the university.
Some categories could also be criminal in nature such as possession of marijuana or alcohol by people who are underage or potentially providing or distributing alcohol to minors, the latter is often seen at campus parties thrown by upperclassmen in which under age students are attending.
Unfortunately, the most serious criminal acts include assault, rape and in some circumstances even murder. The kinds of cases that are disciplined by the universities can be varied and spread across a wide variety of topics.
What Is The First Thing You Should Do After Receiving a Disciplinary Charge?
The first thing to do is contact an attorney. It is very important to contact an attorney even if the disciplinary charges on a college campus are not criminally related. The reason for that is because the consequences from the university often have absolutely nothing to do with whether a case is going to be criminally prosecuted or not.
For example, even though in some states, like Maryland, possession of small amounts of marijuana no longer carries criminal prosecution, a person found with a small amount of marijuana might still face disciplinary action from the university.
How Can An Attorney Help At a Disciplinary Hearing?
An attorney can be helpful at the disciplinary proceedings by providing advice on what to say, and more importantly, what not to say. Even though this is a university campus and the person does not have the same rights as in a court room, the person still has rights that prevent him or her from potentially jeopardizing the situation further. Also, an attorney can be helpful in negotiating possible ramifications that the university might try to impose, like modifying an expulsion from the university to a brief suspension or modifying a suspension for a minor act such as drug possession to attending a drug education program instead of facing a suspension at all.
An attorney can be extremely helpful in these kinds of proceedings and it is important to contact one immediately.
Contacting a Student Defense Attorney
A defense attorney can help university students who are facing disciplinary action in a couple of ways. First of all, they can help them review any of the allegations and evidence against them to determine whether or not the university actually has a foundation. Additionally, they can interview any witnesses that might be able to assist them during the disciplinary proceedings and represent the student at these proceedings to make sure that the appropriate topics are being addressed and only necessary information is provided so that the student does not get into additional trouble.
Perhaps most importantly, before any disciplinary proceedings take place an attorney can be of assistance in trying to negotiate with the university officials what kind of ramifications the student might face if the attorney believes that the university is going to be successful at proceeding with the disciplinary action. For example, if the university is seeking to throw someone out of the school altogether an attorney might be able to negotiate less harsh alternate consequences, like a brief suspension or perhaps participating in a program that might address the specific concerns of the university so that there would be assurance to the university and the university community that one is no longer a threat to their policies or to their other students.