Connecticut School Discipline Lawyer
Connecticut school disciplinary proceedings can occur at the high school, boarding school, college, university, and graduate school levels for Connecticut, New York and other United States private and public school students. These proceedings are usually triggered by accusations of misconduct, crimes, and alleged violations of school rules and policies. Ask any of the top Connecticut and New York school discipline lawyers and attorneys—all of these types of accusations can have a serious impact on your education and career prospects. Connecticut and New York school discipline proceedings can expose you to suspensions, expulsions, and loss of scholarship moneys. With your future at stake in the face of Connecticut and New York school, university or college discipline, it is therefore critical to consult with a top Connecticut or New York school discipline lawyer attorney to assist you in any school or college / university investigation or disciplinary hearing.
Your Rights During New York & Connecticut Public School, Private School & Board School Disciplinary Hearings
As the best Connecticut and New York school discipline lawyers and attorneys will advise, the most important thing to remember in any school disciplinary proceeding is that as a student, you have rights. If you are attending a public institution, then even in the most serious cases that warrant immediate expulsion, your Connecticut state and federal due process rights require your school to notify you of your alleged misconduct and to hold a fair hearing during which you may present evidence and witnesses. However, if you are being investigated or disciplined in a Connecticut private high school or boarding school, then you will not have due process rights and your rights will be governed by your school’s rules and regulations, which are codified in your school’s handbooks. These handbooks are considered contracts, and are binding on you, your parents, and your school’s faculty and staff. In either event, hiring a top Stamford, Westport, Wilton, Darien or Greenwich school discipline attorney can give you more leverage against aggressive school administrators and attorneys. Until you push back and start making them think of your child’s case from a cost-benefit analysis, then there’s a possibility your school may not want a knockout fight in court and will reverse their discipline or enter into a settlement agreement. The team of Connecticut boarding school and private school discipline lawyers at Mark Sherman Law has reached numerous settlements with top-tier schools that have resulted in the reversal of discipline, reinstatement of student admissions, the return of tuition payments, and attorneys’ fees being paid to our clients. Click here for more information on our firm’s school disciplinary practice.
New York and Connecticut College / University Discipline, Expulsion and Expulsion Appeals Lawyer
As the best New York and Connecticut school and college discipline lawyers appreciate, college and university disciplinary proceedings typically involve violations of university policies, all of which are listed in a college or university student handbook. Often at the heart of New York and Connecticut college and university disciplinary proceedings are incidents of drug use, drug possession, drug sale and distribution, underage alcohol possession, marijuana possession, hazing, plagiarism, and rape. Obviously many of these examples of misconduct involve allegations of criminal misconduct so it is important that you consult with a top Connecticut criminal lawyer prior to speaking to any college administrators or investigators, who have a legal obligation to report suspicious or criminal activity to campus police and local law enforcement authorities.
Illegal Drugs, Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs and Underage Alcohol Possession
Illegal drug use in a Connecticut college and university setting may involve the sale, distribution or use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and MDMA (more commonly known as “Molly”). It can also include the sale, distribution or illegal use of prescription drugs such as Adderall or Oxycontin. Most Connecticut universities and colleges have strict “zero tolerance” rules concerning illegal drugs and the illegal use of prescription drugs, which should not be surprising since they are also felony crimes in the State of Connecticut. The worst case scenario, which seems to occur more and more frequently, is that a student’s illegal possession and distribution of controlled substances leads to a fatal overdose of a fellow student. In cases involving overdoses, the student can expect near-immediate expulsion and criminal charges, which certainly need to be aggressively defended by a top Ridgefield, Stamford, or Darien criminal lawyer. Click here to learn more about possession of narcotics in Connecticut.
Underage drinking laws are also enforced on many Connecticut boarding school, private school, and public high school campuses. If you are underage and are caught drinking either on campus or off campus, or are involved in an alcohol-related incident such as an Under DUI arrest in Connecticut, then you should expect to face some college, boarding school or private school disciplinary proceedings. In addition to facing school disciplinary proceedings, if you are a minor found to be possessing alcohol or have been arrested for an under 21-DUI / DWI in Connecticut, then you might find yourself facing prison time and a driver’s license suspension. When you are facing disciplinary proceedings at school and simultaneously facing criminal charges, the stress of it all can be overwhelming. And usually the school discipline process will be moving much more quickly than your criminal case. Therefore, consulting with a top Fairfield, Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut school discipline attorney lawyer should be your first priority.
Connecticut Fraternity and Sorority Investigations
Connecticut school and university discipline cases often deal with the use, sale or distribution of drugs and/or alcohol, especially in the context of Connecticut college and university discipline for hazing. Hazing involves a number of rituals that individuals (called “pledges”), vying for a spot in a fraternity or sorority, must endure to be considered for membership into a fraternity or sorority. These rituals can include being forced to drink excessive amounts of alcohol or water, being subject to beatings, or other forms of public or private embarrassment and humiliation. Hazing has also found its way into high school athletic teams. Although pledging is by no means a new phenomenon, there has been a new interest in pursuing investigations into Connecticut fraternity or sorority hazing, and high school athletic teams’ hazing rituals, because of the risk of deaths resulting from certain rituals. Hazing has become such a problem in Connecticut and other states that, in addition to schools forbidding the practice, many states have passed laws against hazing.
As the top Connecticut college and university education lawyers are aware, Section 53-23a of the Connecticut General Statutes makes it unlawful to engage in hazing and imposes a one-year suspension from university life, and a civil fine of up to $1,000 if you engage in hazing. Hazing is defined by Connecticut law as: recklessly or intentionally endangering someone’s health for the purposes of initiating them into a group by requiring them to indecently expose themselves; engaging in activities that cause extreme mental stress (sleep deprivation, prolonged isolation); ingesting substances or performing physical activities that endanger health; or requiring someone to endure assaults or confinement under certain conditions. Any deaths or injuries resulting from hazing can result in additional charges under the criminal law for assault, reckless endangerment, and in the worst-case scenario – manslaughter or homicide.
Connecticut Hazing Investigation Attorneys and Lawyers
In the event that your university, college, high school, or boarding school initiates investigations into your fraternity, sorority or athletic team, you should be prepared for the questions you will be asked, and understand the consequences of either cooperating or refusing to cooperate in such an investigation. For example, many top Connecticut criminal lawyers have been hired to accompany Connecticut college and boarding school students in hazing investigations involving illegal drug use, underage alcohol consumption, rape, sexual assaults or accidents occurring from hazing which result in the death of another student. When there are a number of other students facing investigations, school disciplinary proceedings and/or criminal charges, the truth can often get lost in all of the stories that are told by all the students involved, sometimes to your significant detriment. If your sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, or fellow athletes hire attorneys before you, they might be persuaded to cooperate with the college or university investigators, or even campus police and law enforcement, in exchange for leniency or immunity. You should not be the last student to hire a top Connecticut or New York school discipline or criminal lawyer. Contact any of the best Connecticut fraternity / sorority school discipline lawyers and attorneys as soon as you are made aware that your fraternity or sorority is being investigated.
College Rape and Sexual Assault Investigations on Connecticut Campuses
Campus sexual assault and rape cases have drawn much national attention over recent years. Excessive drinking and drug use by college students can sometimes lead to students physically taking advantage of each other. At the center of many of these sexual assault and rape case allegations is a fundamental disagreement between the victim and an accused as to whether the sexual intercourse was consensual. You don’t have to look further than Duke University to appreciate the guilt-presumptive nature of rape allegations in the Duke lacrosse case and other university rape cases. In cases like these, it can be very difficult to know whether you—as someone who may be accused of sexual assault—should tell your side of the story to law enforcement and university investigators, especially if you have nothing to hide. There is no easy answer to these questions, which must be thoroughly discussed and vetted by a top Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney.
Fighting Connecticut College & University Sexual Assault Allegations
New York and Connecticut school disciplinary proceedings for rape and sexual misconduct can result in suspension, expulsion, loss of scholarships, and loss of graduate school and employment opportunities. With all of these benefits at stake, you should not try to face a college or university sexual misconduct investigation alone. Whether you are the victim pursuing a complaint against an accused, a victim pursuing legal action against your university or college for mishandling your initial allegations, or you are the accused facing a complaint in Connecticut or New York by an accuser, school disciplinary proceedings involving rape and sex assault accusations need to be dealt with swiftly and seriously. Thus, it is important to consult an experienced Fairfield, Stamford, Darien or Greenwich sex assault or rape lawyer. Click here to learn more about sex crime arrests in Connecticut.
Plagiarizing & Cheating Discipline Cases in Connecticut Colleges & Universities
Almost all schools at every level take plagiarizing and cheating very seriously. In the eyes of academic institutions, plagiarizing and cheating are among the most egregious violations of a school’s honor code, as the crime indicates a lack of academic integrity and honesty. Many times, schools will have a zero tolerance policy for plagiarizing or cheating, especially if you do not admit to the misconduct. So are you better off fessing up to the plagiarism or exercising your right to remain to silent? After all, students do make mistakes, and some forms of plagiarizing can be unintentional. For example, you might not know how to correctly credit a source or an author. You might have merely forgotten to credit an author’s work. Or you might even write something that coincidentally resembles another author’s work. Any of these situations can result in a school disciplinary hearing for plagiarism. That’s why other, more lenient schools, however, may have different standards that permit two or three “strikes,” before a student is required to appear before a committee that will determine the student’s academic penalty and future. With defenses like these available, it is a good idea to consult any of the best Stamford, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Darien and Greenwich school discipline attorneys who will tell you that all it takes is one lenient rule in your student handbook—coupled with some solid negotiating—to win a school discipline hearing.
Contact a School Discipline Hearing at Mark Sherman Law Today
So if you are facing school disciplinary proceedings or criminal charges as a result of alleged violations of your private school, boarding school, college or university rules, or if you are a college student arrested in Connecticut for a state or federal crime, then you should contact a school discipline attorney at The Law Offices of Mark Sherman. We have years of experience defending students in school disciplinary proceedings and have a high success rate when it comes to getting students the results they are looking for. Contact us for a consultation today at (203) 358-4700.