Sacred Heart Student Defense Lawyer
While you have a right to counsel from a criminal defense attorney when facing accusations of criminal misconduct, the same rights do not all apply to student conduct code violations. If you are facing student disciplinary actions at school, you should strongly consider seeking guidance from a Sacred Heart student defense lawyer.
What Are Common Criminal Charges that Sacred Heart Students Face?
In general, any action that is illegal under Connecticut state law would also be considered a violation of Sacred Heart’s Code of Student Conduct. This include minor misdemeanor offenses like simple drug possession and underage alcohol consumption, and driving under the influence, as well as more serious felonies like sexual assault. Conversely, offenses like plagiarism could result in disciplinary proceedings at Sacred Heart but not in criminal court.
Any criminal charges a Sacred Heart student faces for allegedly illegal conduct would proceed separately from any student conduct proceedings that Sacred Heart University undertakes for the same offense. Accordingly, the outcome of one case has no bearing on the other—even if a student is not convicted of an offense in criminal court, they could still face sanctions from their university. A qualified Sacred Heart student defense attorney could clarify for an individual student or their students what they should expect from these respective proceedings.
How Are Student Conduct Hearings Conducted at Sacred Heart University?
Sacred Heart’s stated priorities in student conduct hearings are education and remediation rather than punishment, so there is no set formula for what offenses may justify sanctions of a particular level of severity. Instead, sanctions may be administered on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to the disciplinary history of the student in question and other extenuating circumstances.
Importantly, though, Sacred Heart student conduct hearings adhere to a different standard of evidence than criminal cases in Connecticut courts do. Instead of having prove culpability “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the University only requires a conduct violation to be proven based on a lower standard of “preponderance of evidence”—which may include witness testimony as well as testimony from third parties and even hearsay.
Furthermore, while Sacred Heart students have a right to retain an adviser for student conduct proceedings, that adviser can only be a university faculty member, administrator, or fellow student. While a student defense lawyer could still provide counsel to someone accused of a conduct violation at Sacred Heart, they would not be allowed into any conduct hearings run by the school.
Get in Touch with a Sacred Heart Student Defense Attorney Today
Whether you are facing criminal charges, allegations of a student conduct code violation, or both at the same time, any disciplinary action taken against you while attending Sacred Heart University could have significant long-term consequences.
Fortunately, a Sacred Heart student defense lawyer could help you prepare a comprehensive defense strategy for either sets of proceedings. Read our reviews from past clients here to see how a dedicated attorney can help!