Nearly every college and university has a handbook detailing acceptable and unacceptable behavior. These handbooks also include potential consequences, which can range from probation to expulsion. However, just because a student is accused of a violation doesn’t mean he or she is guilty. When it comes to code-of-conduct violations, it often makes sense to consult with a student defense lawyer. Such a lawyer can examine the school’s handbook and help guide the student through the disciplinary process. Hiring a lawyer that specializes in student defense can help the student avoid wrongful violations or overly harsh consequences.
When should you hire an attorney?
Analyze the following factors to determine whether or not you need a student defense lawyer:
The nature of the case
The complexity and severity of your case is an essential factor to consider. Cases involving plagiarism or hazing will have harsher consequences than a one-time disruption of an event. Generally, the more complex or severe the case, the more important it is to consult with a lawyer.
The Cost Of The Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is going to cost money. Depending on the expenses linked to the lawyer’s services and the amount of money you’re ready to spend, you can decide whether to hire a lawyer or handle the case on your own. Again, be aware that some less complex cases don’t require the services of an attorney.
Your relationship with the school
Keep in mind that hiring an attorney could change the current relationship you have with the school. Involving a lawyer makes the atmosphere more formal and potentially combative. Thus, the administration is likely to be more guarded and might perceive you as a trouble maker. However, if you feel the relationship has already changed and your kid’s welfare is more important, it’s time to hire an attorney.
A student defense lawyer can offer legal counsel and help guide your student through the process, even if the school does not allow an attorney to be present during hearings. Here are some of the tasks that an attorney can handle.
- Securing the student’s important school files.
- Analyzing the potential legal issues that might apply in the case.
- Analyzing the student handbook
- Preparing for hearings.
- Attending the hearing sessions.
Even students have rights. A good student defense lawyer can protect these rights and help ensure that a student’s future is not permanently ruined.