The Penn State Code of Conduct is a set of rules and expectations by which all students at the university are expected to abide. This includes undergraduates, graduate students, doctoral students, full-time, part-time, and World Campus students. Penn State takes violations of the Code of Conduct seriously, and it could result in sanctions or more serious forms of punishment if a student is accused of violating the Code of Conduct at the school. If you or a friend is accused of a Code of Conduct violation, it is important to know that you have rights; an experienced student conduct violation attorney can help protect and enforce your rights throughout the disciplinary process.
Students at Penn State can go to. Disney Law for help with any student conduct hearings that they may be required to attend after an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct. Call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation and to discuss your legal needs.
If someone reports you for an alleged incident of misconduct, the first step is a required appointment with the Office of Student Conduct or Residence Life case manager to determine whether any violations of the Code of Conduct occurred. If it is decided that violations occurred, sanctions may be assigned that can include a formal warning, probationary period, or even a suspension or expulsion from the university. There is often an educational component to the sanctions, as well, which can mean mandatory classes to address whatever issue caused the alleged conduct violation.
It is important to note that a student does not have to cooperate with the sanction process after an alleged conduct violation, but this means that the case manager will make a decision about any violations and sanctions based on the information available. However, regardless of whether a student participates in the conduct violation process they still have the opportunity to challenge the decision through a sanction review.
A student can be found guilty of a Code of Conduct violation even if there are no criminal charges or if the student is found not guilty of a crime. Criminal charges are completely separate from the university Code of Conduct process, and it has absolutely no impact on a student conduct case. This is because the conduct code is not a set of laws, but values and ethical standards set by Penn State. Some of the most significant tenants of the Code of Conduct include the following:
In some cases, the Code of Conduct may even apply to off campus activity. If a complaint is filed about a conduct violation off campus, the university will still review it to determine whether a student conduct hearing should occur to address any potential violations.
Having an attorney present can be incredibly beneficial during a student conduct hearing. Penn State allows for a person of the student’s choosing to be present during a conference with a case manager for an alleged conduct violation. This can include a parent, guardian, adviser, or attorney. While the student is expected to speak for him or herself, a lawyer can go over what to expect, what to say, and how to handle any issues that may arise during the hearing.
A lawyer can accompany a student to conduct proceedings, advise on the preparation and presentation of any materials or information that needs to be shared during the case conference, and advise the student in the preparation of an appeal or sanction reviews. A student usually has three business days after sanctions are issued to appeal the decision. An attorney can also consult with the student during the conduct conference if questions, issues, or concerns arise. This includes invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, especially if criminal charges are potentially involved with the alleged incident.
As a student, you have legal rights and are entitled to due process throughout the conduct hearing process. After the case conference, a student has the right to accept the violations and sanctions given by the university, contest one or more of the charges levied by requesting a hearing, or challenge the sanctions given by the university by asking for a sanction review if the sanctions included probation with a transcript notation or a form of separation from the University.
In every case of alleged student misconduct, the burden of proof is on the university, not the student. The university must be able to prove that the student is responsible for misconduct by a preponderance of the evidence. Unlike an actual criminal trial, the university has a lower burden of proof than to establish that the violation occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. The rules of evidence are also relaxed at conduct hearings, and evidence like hearsay is allowed. This is why it is critical to have an experienced attorney by your side during this process.
If you or someone you know at Penn State has been accused of committing a student conduct violation either on or off campus, it is important that you speak with a Pennsylvania lawyer who has experience handling student conduct issues about your case. At Disney Law, our team is prepared to offer you top-tier legal advice about your student conduct case and represent your interests throughout the process. To learn more about what to expect and what your legal rights are during a student conduct case, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
In Pennsylvania, property owners and occupiers have a duty to keep their premises safe for visitors, and this includes incorporating safety measures to prevent intentional harm from befalling their guests.
When a police officer pulls over a person for suspicion of driving under the influence, one way they may try to determine if a driver is intoxicated is by requesting that the driver perform a set of field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests require a person to complete a set of physical tasks while the police look for subjective signs that may indicate intoxication.
Ridesharing has become one of the more popular options for transportation in the Pittsburgh area and throughout Pennsylvania. While a convenient option for passengers, studies have shown that rideshare vehicles have increased the number of accidents, injuries, and even deaths on the road for drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and those in other vehicles.
Pennsylvania prosecutors take drug crimes seriously, especially in the Pittsburgh area. Many different activities fall under the umbrella of drug crimes, from misdemeanor simple possession to felony intent to distribute offenses. Conviction for drug crimes comes with serious penalties that can affect the rest of a person’s life, and the experienced drug crimes defense attorneys at Disney Law understand the necessity of having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a drug offense in the Pittsburgh area, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 today to schedule a consultation of your case and to learn more about your legal options.