Impact of Disciplinary Charges on DC Students

In most universities in D.C., a violation of a local D.C. law is also an offense under the student code of conduct. That means that even if a student is arrested for a crime that didn’t involve another university student or didn’t even take place on campus, the university can still move forward on a student judicial hearing based on an off-campus criminal violation. For that reason, being arrested anywhere while being a student at a university can result in the same possible sanctions from the university as they would if the alleged incident took place with another student or on campus. Should you be given a disciplinary charge, protect yourself by contacting a DC student defense lawyer right away to help you fight your case with the school and with the courts.

Subsequent Criminal Proceedings

Being arrested for criminal conduct that is alleged to have occurred on campus can also result in a criminal charge being filed by D.C. prosecutors. We often see this in situations such as drug possession, drug distribution or alleged intent to distribute drugs. Those kinds of situations can result in a student judicial hearing along with filing of criminal charges by the United States Attorney’s Office in the D.C. Superior Court.

That can be a very difficult situation because the university does not have the same procedures for protecting the accused and does not afford the student the opportunity to have a DC student defense attorney speak on his or her behalf. Consequently, DC university proceedings can sometimes place you at a disadvantage in a criminal case because it can force you into a position of either making self-incriminating statements in the university hearing or remaining silent in the university hearing in order to avoid incriminating yourself on the criminal side.

Unfortunately, in the university hearing, asserting your right to remain silent can be used by the university as an indication of non-compliance with the university proceedings and the university can take actions against you for refusing to cooperate, even though doing so might be in your best interests on the criminal side.

Navigating those issues is often very complicated, which is why it is important to have the assistance of a lawyer who handles both criminal allegations and university judicial hearings. A Washington, DC student defense lawyer will help you navigate the complexities of dealing with a criminal case in conjunction with a student hearing.

Effect of Disciplinary Charges on Students’ Academic Future

A student who is arrested for a criminal charge can face serious consequences from the university even if the criminal charge didn’t involve the university at all. Possible consequences include:

  • university probation;
  • suspension;
  • expulsion; and/or
  • a permanent reflection on the student’s transcript.

These consequences can have long-lasting effects for a student. For instance, probation or suspension can prevent a student from graduating on time. Additionally, a record on the student’s transcript means that it might be seen by graduate schools that the student might be interested in applying to. It can also be seen by possible employers or another school that a student might want to transfer to if he or she is no longer associated with the university. That can be the case even if the allegations weren’t specifically charged or the student wasn’t convicted by the criminal courts. Contact a DC student defense lawyer as soon as possible to start building yourself a strong defense.