Operated by the LDS Church, Mormon Missionary Training Centers (MTCs) provide education for missionaries who travel all over the world. There are Mormon Missionary Training Centers (MTCs) located around the globe, but the main MTC is based in Utah, close to the Brigham Young University (BYU) campus in Provo. Missionaries in training are expected to adhere to strict codes of conduct that reflect MTC values, and violations can lead to disciplinary hearings. If the violation involves a state or federal law, such as a violation of a drug law, the student could even face criminal charges.
If you or your or son or daughter was arrested while training to become a missionary at the MTC in Provo, Utah, your family needs compassionate guidance from a trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced attorney. Founder of Overson Law, PLLC, Darwin Overson has more than 16 years of experience handling felony cases, misdemeanor cases, and juvenile court cases. He also represents students and their families in academic and disciplinary hearings, providing comprehensive legal support from both criminal and academic angles. For a free legal consultation about your family’s next steps, contact Overson, PLLC online, or call Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 for assistance. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you and your family.
What Can Lead to a Disciplinary Hearing for Missionaries in Training?
Student policy strictly prohibits engaging in any illegal activities that are prohibited by state or federal law. Therefore, a student who commits a crime is in violation of MTC policy. To determine whether criminal allegations are true, the MTC may call for a formal hearing. The student should be represented by an academic hearings lawyer, who can help prepare the student and speak on their behalf during proceedings.
Any type of criminal charge or arrest can lead to disciplinary hearing. Criminal charges Darwin Overson handles include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Child Pornography Offenses
- Criminal Trespass (Trespassing)
- Disorderly Conduct
- Distribution of Controlled Substances
- Domestic Violence Crimes
- Drug Possession
- Drunk Driving/Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Murder and Manslaughter
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of Fake ID
- Resisting Arrest
- Revenge Porn Offenses
- Sexual Assault
- Shoplifting (Retail Theft)
- Simple and Aggravated Assault
- Underage Drinking
- Weapons Possession Offenses
Some of the issues that lead to hearings are non-criminal, but nonetheless violate MTC policy – for example, accusations of cheating. Even if the disciplinary hearing stems from a non-criminal policy violation, it is still important to have legal representation in order to ensure that evidence is handled and examined properly.
What Are the Potential Outcomes of a Student Disciplinary Hearing?
The outcomes of a student disciplinary hearing can be devastating, with impacts that reach far into the future. Depending on the severity of the violation – and what the MTC concludes after a careful review of the evidence – these outcomes may include being temporarily or permanently removed from the MTC, losing eligibility for promising work and volunteer opportunities, and losing eligibility for certain types of financial aid. A criminal investigation can also delay or prevent the student from successfully completing their missionary training on time, interfering with future plans and professional ambitions.
What Are the Penalties for a Student Convicted of a Crime in Utah?
There is no question that the Provo MTC can impose serious penalties for a violation of MTC policy. However, the penalties that can be imposed by the state are even harsher – in some cases, including jail time. Specific penalties for a criminal conviction vary widely, depending on factors that include:
- The age of the student at the time of the alleged offense. Many college students are under age 21. Utah’s juvenile courts generally have jurisdiction over such cases, with exceptions for some of the most serious charges (such as murder). This is significant because juvenile courts are civil, while adult courts are criminal.
- The student’s prior record. Repeat offenders tend to receive harsher penalties than defendants who have clean criminal records. However, even with no record of previous arrests or convictions, a person can still be heavily fined, sentenced to prison time, and given other punishments.
- The nature and severity of the offense. In Utah, every criminal offense receives one of the following designations: Class C misdemeanor, Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, third degree felony, second degree felony, or first degree felony. Class C misdemeanors have the lowest penalty maximums, while first degree misdemeanors have the highest. First degree misdemeanors are crimes like rape and murder, while Class C misdemeanors include driving without a license, enticing a minor, and certain types of disorderly conduct offenses. Based on these classifications, maximum fines range anywhere from $750 to $10,000, with maximum sentences ranging from 90 days in jail to life in prison without parole.
Disciplinary Hearing Attorney for Mormon Missionary Training Center Students
Make sure your son or daughter has the benefit of quality legal representation if he or she must face student disciplinary hearings or criminal proceedings. To set up a free consultation, contact Overson Law, PLLC online, or call right away at (801) 758-2287.