Going to college is often a young adult’s first foray into independence. Being away from home for the first time can be a liberating and daunting experience at the same time. College students can easily make bad decisions that put them in the position of facing potential repercussions on two fronts — New York’s criminal courts, along with the college or university they attend.
On one hand, public intoxication, drunk driving, assault and more could mean criminal charges. On the other hand, the university or college may also require the student to attend an administrative hearing. If your college student gets into some sort of trouble, he or she may need help on both fronts.
The tricky part is that administrative hearings have a much lower burden of proof. This means that even if your child is not convicted in a criminal court, the university side of things may not go as well. Violating the school’s code of conduct could come with some harsh consequences such as suspension or even expulsion.
In the meantime, it is important to make sure that your college student’s rights are not violated or jeopardized through the proceedings in either venue. The primary consideration for any college student in this situation is to take action. It is not necessary to simply accept his or her fate.
Instead, it would be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity to present a defense both in court and at an administrative hearing. College students often hesitate to let their parents know what is going on, so it might be beneficial to discuss the severity of the consequences that could arise by not taking proactive steps to deal with the situation. If your child makes a mistake that attracts the attention of law enforcement and the school’s administration, you could find an attorney with experience in both the criminal courts and New York’s colleges and universities.