Students at Utah Valley University may be devoted to their studies and graduating – but many also seek to have fun while they are in college. This could potentially mean getting into trouble with underage drinking or drug possession as well as issues dealing with assault, disorderly conduct, or sexual assault. If you are a college student facing accusations of crimes or disciplinary issues that could lead to disciplinary action, our lawyers may be able to help.
Our disciplinary hearing lawyers for students at Utah Valley University can work to help protect your rights if you face disciplinary hearings and potential academic penalties for misconduct at school. Whether this involves academic misconduct or other issues leading to disciplinary measures, call Overson Law, PLLC today to set up a free legal consultation with our attorneys. Our number is (801) 758-2287.
Rights and Due Process During a College Disciplinary Hearing in Utah
Utah’s public universities are held to high standards for disciplinary hearings. Official rules governing Utah’s public colleges require every student to receive notice and an opportunity to respond to any allegations against them for academic and non-academic disciplinary issues. This means that whether you were accused of cheating on a test or assaulting another student, the school must give you prior notice of the case against you and give you a chance to address the allegations. They also give you the right to have an “advisor” with you, which can be an attorney.
Your attorney or advisor is allowed to advocate for you in your case. They may give opening and closing statements, sit with you and advise you on how to answer questions, and question witnesses on your behalf. Institutions are allowed to write their own rules on these procedures and processes which might change exactly what your advisor can do for you or how they do it, but an advisor should still be permitted. Some schools may require prior notice if you will be using an advisor, so it is vital to talk to a lawyer and notify your school as soon as you can.
Typically, you are innocent until proven guilty in these kinds of cases. This means that the school must meet a certain standard before they can actually confirm any misconduct. In a criminal case, this standard is a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. This is a very high standard, but the standard used in disciplinary hearings is lower. Instead, the government must prove it was more likely than not that you committed the offense to meet the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This means it is all the more vital to have an attorney represent you to challenge evidence and witnesses used against you.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Academic Disciplinary Hearings
Having an attorney represent you in your academic disciplinary hearing might mean the difference between keeping your enrollment status and getting expelled. If you represent yourself, you may become flustered or emotional during the hearing, potentially making it more difficult to get your case across or present the facts of your case. Your attorney also has experience handling these kinds of cases, and practice makes perfect in any sort of official hearing. Darwin Overson of Overson Law has over 20 years of experience handling criminal defense cases before judges and juries, and he can put that experience to work for you.
One of the other most important reasons to hire an attorney for your disciplinary hearing is that you may need a lawyer for criminal charges as well. If your charges are serious enough to get you expelled, they may have also been referred to the police or DA’s office to prosecute your case in court. If you face criminal charges, it is important to have an attorney represent you to protect your rights. In a criminal case, you face far harsher potential penalties than expulsion, and keeping your freedom might depend on the strength of your defense.
Common Disciplinary Charges at Colleges and Universities
Disciplinary complaints are typically broken down into two categories: academic disciplinary issues and non-academic disciplinary issues. In either case, the act you are accused of participating in or committing is typically something that violates the school’s code of conduct. Each school’s code of conduct is different, and UVU’s code of conduct should be accessible to students either online or in physical form upon request.
Academic misconduct typically means any sort of academic dishonesty that calls into question your integrity as a student or your ability to perform the work you are assigned. This mostly means cheating, plagiarism, and other dishonesty. Copying someone else’s answers on a test, turning in a paper someone else wrote as your own, or lying to gain more time to study for an exam would be clear examples of academic misconduct.
Non-academic misconduct refers to issues such as assault, sexual assault, drug use, and other activities that violate the code of conduct but have nothing to do with academics. Many of these issues are crimes in their own right and can lead to criminal charges as well as sanctions from UVU.
Disciplinary Hearing Lawyers for UVU Students Accused of Crimes and Misconduct
If you or your college-aged student was charged with issues of academic dishonesty or violations of the student code of conduct at UVU, talk to one of our attorneys today. The disciplinary hearing lawyers for Utah Valley University students at Overson Law represent the accused and fight to keep them out of jail and enrolled in college. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our attorneys at (801) 758-2287.