Administrative Hearings and Other College Crimes

North Carolina is home to several large universities. Many college students can get in trouble with their university or college on a broad range of issues. Every college and university has a student handbook, which often also includes an honor code. When students violate their student handbook or honor code, they face suspension and other negative consequences.

Students can also face regular criminal charges such as underage alcohol consumption. If you are a student facing an administrative hearing or a criminal trial, you need to hire experienced legal representation.Contact the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Our Lawyers Represent Students at Charlotte Area Colleges and Universities

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys have represented many college students at local colleges and universities. Our region is fortunate to have so many schools in close proximity such as:

  • University of North Carolina - Charlotte
  • Queens University - Charlotte
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Wingate University
  • Pfeiffer College - Charlotte
  • Carolinas College of Health Sciences

You might think that facing a charge over a matter in the student handbook is not that serious. However, the repercussions of facing a hearing over a student handbook or plagiarism charge can be devastating. Whether you are facing a criminal charge or a charge with your college or university, it is essential to secure legal representation as soon as possible.

Academic Misconduct at Charlotte Area Colleges and Universities

Every university and college in the Charlotte area has a code of conduct to which students must adhere. Violations of codes of conduct are not criminal charges, but they can lead to a disciplinary hearing along with academic penalties. It is important to be aware that if you are accused of a crime, either on or off campus, you may also face additional disciplinary actions with your school or university, in addition to the criminal penalties you may face off campus.

The Difference Between College Discipline and Criminal Charges

Understanding the difference between a criminal case and a school disciplinary hearing is important. A prosecutor may decide not to press criminal charges. You could also be acquitted of your crime. North Carolina prosecutors can only bring criminal charges for crimes set forth in North Carolina’s criminal laws. Defendants in a criminal trial have constitutional rights such as the right to a speedy trial, the right to legal representation, and the right to due process.

Students facing school discipline charges do not have the same rights as defendants in criminal trials. School discipline charges are not criminal charges under the law. Students facing disciplinary charges and hearings do not have due process rights under the constitution. You may not have any right to an attorney for your student disciplinary hearing, depending on the circumstances. As students facing college discipline charges do not enjoy the same rights as a person facing criminal charges off campus, hiring a defense lawyer is extremely important.

Fighting for Your Rights at a University Discipline Hearing in Charlotte

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we will fight for your best interests during the school disciplinary hearing. Every school allows students facing charges of different rights and opportunities to present evidence on their own behalf. Our lawyers can examine the relevant student handbook and code of conduct to discover the procedures and rules for presenting evidence in your case. It is important to remember that each school is different. The disciplinary hearing process is not always friendly toward students.

Disciplinary Hearings for Sexual Misconduct at Universities

In order to comply with federal Title IX laws and not lose their federal funding, Universities must take certain steps to prevent acts of sexual misconduct and violence. Schools often take swift action against alleged sex offenders on their campus. At many universities, the alleged victim has the option of filing a complaint with the school in addition to pressing criminal charges through the courts. The school administration will then become involved and the Title IX coordinator will begin a formal investigation.

Unfortunately, the investigation, disciplinary hearings, and possible appeals process can take months. Going through the process can be extremely stressful and cause the alleged offender to face stigma among professors and peers. Those charged also face invasions of their privacy, potential retaliation, and a lack of university support during the investigation process. Even those students who are not found guilty face lasting negative consequences.

The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

If you have been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or another policy violation at your university or college, hiring an attorney can be beneficial. Even if you are charged with plagiarism or another honor code violation, hiring a skilled lawyer can help you protect your interests and rights. Your college and university have the funds and staff to throw into the trial and you may be entitled to a lawyer for your defense. Contact our Charlotte law firm as soon as possible to schedule your consultation and learn how we can help you.