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Wesleyan University Student Defense Lawyer

Both legal and institutional rules prohibit Wesleyan University students from engaging in certain actions or behaviors, and anyone accused of violating those rules should speak to a knowledgeable student defense attorney as soon as possible. If you are currently facing criminal prosecution, allegations of a conduct or honor code violation, or both, speaking with a Wesleyan University student defense lawyer may be in your best interests.

What is the Difference Between Criminal Prosecution Versus Student Conduct Hearings?

Generally speaking, any criminal act defined in Connecticut state law would also constitute a violation of Wesleyan University’s expectations for student counsel. To that end, Wesleyan’s Code of Non-Academic Conduct expressly prohibits numerous actions that could also result in criminal prosecution and sanctions, including but not limited to:

  • Breach of the peace
  • Forgery of University documents
  • Destruction or theft of University property
  • Sexual misconduct and/or assault
  • The possession or use of illegal drugs
  • Alcohol consumption by someone under 21, or the distribution of alcohol to someone under 21

Can A Criminal Case Affect A School Disciplinary Hearing?

If a Wesleyan student commits an act that results in both criminal charges and school disciplinary proceedings, the outcome of either case would generally not have any bearing on the outcome of the other. Perhaps more importantly, though, hearings for alleged violations of the Wesleyan Honor Code or the Code of Non-Academic Conduct have different standards of evidence than criminal cases.

As per the Wesleyan Student Handbook, school disciplinary hearings operate based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof, rather than the “beyond a reasonable standard” that criminal courts use. Additionally, students at Wesleyan University do not have all the same rights they would have in a criminal case guaranteed to them in conduct hearings—including the right to have a student defense attorney attend their hearing and represent them in person.

How Can Legal Counsel Help a Wesleyan Student?

While students at Wesleyan do not have a right to have legal counsel attend a conduct hearing and speak on their behalf, there is still a lot that a qualified legal professional could do to help anyone facing these kinds of proceedings. First and foremost, a legal representative could—and almost always should—take the lead on handling any criminal case associated with an alleged conduct code violation, allowing the impacted student to focus on their studies and their disciplinary status at school.

In addition, a student defense lawyer could help a Wesleyan University student plan for any hearing they have to attend with the Community Standards Board or the Honor Board, preparing them for what questions will be asked and how to most coherently answer them, and potentially helping to gather exculpatory evidence.

Learn More by Talking to a Wesleyan University Student Defense Attorney

Seeking help from a Wesleyan University student defense lawyer could be crucial to effectively enforcing your rights and defending your best interests. Our hundreds of certified 5-star reviews speak to the benefits of retaining qualified legal representation. Call today to schedule a private consultation and explore how a legal representative could help in your situation.