Experienced Legal Guidance for Student Conduct Violations and Criminal Charges
Navigating the complexities of student conduct issues can be daunting, especially when these accusations have implications beyond college life. In Auburn, where violations of criminal law often overlap with Auburn University's Student Conduct Policy, the decisions you make can significantly influence both your academic and legal future. As the only local attorney that previously worked for Auburn University dealing with student conduct issues, It's crucial to have a legal advisor who understands these intersections and can offer strategic counsel for the best possible outcomes.
Strategic Advice for Dual Implications
Understanding how student conduct decisions affect criminal charges is vital. A misstep in one area could lead to favorable results in the short term but have devastating consequences in the other. As an attorney with in-depth knowledge of both student conduct and criminal law, I provide guidance that takes into account the full spectrum of potential repercussions.
Comprehensive Experience in Student and Criminal Defense
My experience spans from advising on minor student conduct violations to representing individuals in the Title IX process and defending clients in serious felony criminal cases. This breadth of experience ensures that you receive well-rounded, informed advice, no matter the complexity of your situation.
For Students and Parents: Tailored Support When It Matters Most
Whether you're a student facing these challenges or a parent seeking guidance for your child, I am here to help. My approach is not only about legal defense but also about understanding and navigating the unique environment of university policies and their intersection with the law. For more info for parents, click here.
Take Action Now for the Best Defense
If you or your child is dealing with student conduct allegations and/or criminal charges, don't delay. Early intervention is key to managing these situations effectively. Contact me today for a free consultation, and let's explore how I can assist you in securing the best possible outcome. Click here for specialized advice for parents.
Auburn University Code of Conduct
Auburn University, like nearly all colleges, has a Code of Student Conduct that guides the University and dealing with allegations of nonsexual misconduct for students. Any allegations of sexual misconduct is likely handled under Auburn's Title IX Policy. I've provided you a summary of that code below.
Philosophy and Purpose
Auburn University fosters a nurturing community based on integrity, responsibility, and mutual respect. The Auburn Creed forms the foundation of these values.
The Code of Student Conduct outlines acceptable behavior standards for students and student organizations, aiming to be educational and promote a healthy, safe environment while respecting community rights.
Promote a campus environment supporting the university's educational mission.
Foster health, safety, ethical standards, good citizenship, and the values expressed in the Auburn Creed.
Provide pathways for accountability and essential skills acquisition.
Encourage standards of individual and group behavior and maintain governance procedures.
Terms like “university”, “student”, “faculty member”, and “student organization” are specifically defined for the purpose of the Code.
Jurisdiction and Authority
Students and student organizations are expected to abide by university policies and are subject to disciplinary action.
Cases involving infractions by students in certain colleges or violations of specific codes (like Academic Honesty) may be addressed differently.
Standards of Community Conduct
Lists prohibited conduct including physical abuse, theft, dishonesty, unauthorized use of university resources, disruption of university activities, drug and alcohol misuse, and possession of weapons.
Also covers failure to comply with university officials, violation of university policies or law, and abuse of the conduct process.
Temporary Disciplinary Actions and Holds
In extreme cases, temporary disciplinary actions may be taken against students or organizations posing an immediate threat.
Holds may be placed on a student's academic record during the conduct process.
Rights of the Charged and Complainant/Charging Parties
Include the right to be informed of charges, have an advisor, present information, and appeal.
Outlines the procedures for filing a complaint, reviewing the complaint, notification of charges, facilitated informal conferences, and hearings.
Hearing procedures include submission of information, hearing panel composition, and hearing process details.
Scope of appeals and bases for appeal are outlined, including failure to adhere to guidelines, severity of outcomes, and new information.
Procedures for submitting and reviewing appeals are detailed.
Possible outcomes for violations include warnings, loss of privileges, service hours, educational outcomes, suspension, and expulsion.
Addresses the confidentiality and retention of conduct records under FERPA.
How does the hearing process work?
The hearing process at Auburn University, as outlined in their Code of Student Conduct, involves several steps:
Notification of Hearing: Once a case is referred to the Student Conduct Committee, the charged party (student or student organization accused of a violation) and the charging party (individual or entity bringing the complaint) are notified in writing of the hearing procedures.
Composition of Hearing Panel: A Hearing Panel, consisting of university officials and students, is formed to conduct the hearing. The Panel includes two university officials, two students, and a faculty member as chairperson. In cases involving student organizations, a representative from the respective council also serves on the Panel.
Submission of Information: Both the charged party and the charging party must submit documentation for consideration in the hearing within three working days from the date of the notice. This includes information about the incident, names of known witnesses, and documentary information to be presented at the hearing.
The chairperson of the Hearing Panel sets a hearing date in coordination with Student Conduct, and all parties are notified at least seven working days before the hearing.
The chairperson exercises control over the hearing, ensuring a fair process.
Each party can give an opening statement, present witnesses and information, and attend the presentation of other witnesses and information.
Hearings are private and confidential, with digital recordings made for record-keeping.
Decisions are made based on a preponderance of information, not formal rules of evidence as in criminal or civil court.
The charged party’s prior conduct record is not used in determining responsibility for the charges but may be considered if the party is found responsible.
The burden of proof rests with the charging party.
A decision is made based on the information available, irrespective of whether the charged party chooses to make a statement or answer questions.
Conduct Outcomes: If a student or student organization is found responsible for violations, appropriate conduct outcomes are assigned.
Appeals: Decisions made by the Hearing Panel can be appealed by either party based on specific criteria like procedural errors, severity of conduct outcomes, or new information. Appeals must be submitted within five working days after the decision notification.