Each Oklahoma college and university has its own Code of Student Conduct. If you currently attend an Oklahoma university, you have likely agreed to and are bound by the terms of this Code and may face penalties for violating it. Though you agree to the code as a condition of attending your college or university, your school may investigate violations of the student code committed on or off-campus. Common examples of student conduct violations include DUI arrests, hazing, sexual misconduct or harassment, plagiarism, or cheating.
Read on for important information on your Student Conduct Hearing:
Student Conduct Hearings
Each school has a different process of investigating and determining the outcome of an alleged student conduct violation. Typically, if you're accused of a violation of your college or university's Code of Student Conduct – whether it be through plagiarism, cheating, attendance issues, or other violations – you will receive notice from the school (most commonly through your campus email) requesting your presence at a hearing. This notice must describe the alleged misconduct, the specific section of the Code you are alleged to have violated, and a request for you to meet with the administrator or panel investigating the alleged violation. Your school will then hold a hearing to where you will have a chance to defend yourself and ask questions of the panel. These hearings take place in front of a panel comprised of faculty members, administrators, and sometimes student volunteers. During your hearing, you will be provided the opportunity to state your case and question witnesses. This may be the only time you will have to state your case, and we are here to help you prepare your defense.
Most schools allow for a student alleged of a Code violation to be accompanied to all hearings by an advisor. If you choose to hire an attorney as an advisor, know that you may be required to give notice of the hiring of counsel to the college or university within a certain amount of time. Because you may only get one chance to make your case, an experienced attorney is a valuable asset before, during, and after the hearing. Anticipating and preparing for questions from the Student Conduct Panel, knowing what witnesses to call, and understanding the nuances of each school's Code of Student Conduct can mean the difference between remaining in school and facing sanctions such as suspension or expulsion.
Victims of Sexual Violence, Misconduct, or Harassment
If you've been the victim of sexual harassment or misconduct by a student, teacher, or administrator, your school has a legal obligation to investigate the issue. Additionally, your school can take interim measures such as changing classes or your living situation to help keep you safe. The law also protects you from retaliation by the school for reporting any sexual misconduct or harassment – even from professors or administrators. Most importantly, you don't have to go through this difficult time alone. An attorney knowledgable in Student Conduct Law can help speak with your Oklahoma college or university's Title IX Office and law enforcement to help guide throughout the reporting process to get you the resources you need to be safe on campus.
Defending Against Allegations of Sexual Harassment of Misconduct
When a student is accused of sexual misconduct or harassment, domestic violence, or other violation of Title IX, the school's designated Title IX Office will invite you to a hearing to explain your side of the story. Make no mistake, this hearing is mandatory, and if you do not attend the school will likely rule against you and impose sanctions. Your school will also consult with campus and local police, and anything you say to the school during or outside the hearing can (and will!) be shared with law enforcement. The stakes and consequences of this hearing can include suspension and expulsion. With these kinds of lifelong consequences at stake, it is best to have an experienced advocate who can help fight for you.
If the initial hearing doesn't go as you hoped, there are opportunities for appeal. A student usually has a short time to appeal a ruling to the college or university, so you will need to decide quickly. In addition to appealing to the school, a student may have the opportunity to appeal their case to the local district court. If you have lost your case, an attorney familiar with the process can help guide you in your appeal.
The Bottom Line
If you're accused of a violation of your school's Code of Student Conduct, including college DUI arrest, fraternity or sorority hazing, sexual misconduct or harassment, Oklahoma college plagiarism, or cheating, don't risk one of the biggest investments in your life by going alone. Calling an attorney for Oklahoma college students on day one can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Even if you're not facing a serious sanction such as suspension or expulsion, a ruling against you can have a lasting adverse effect on transferring to another school, applying to post-graduate programs such as law, nursing, or medical school, or even employment after graduation. The expert Oklahoma attorneys at Worden Law Firm have a plan to protect you and your rights as a college student. Contact the Worden Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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