College Student Bias-Motivated Conduct Defense Attorney
Protecting the rights of college students accused of violating their school’s code of conduct
Each college and university has an extensive code of conduct setting out unacceptable acts by students attending the school. Because higher-learning institutions often place significant emphasis on acceptance and diversity, schools often have particularly strict rules against acts that may be considered to be bias-motivated conduct and set out harsh penalties for violators. Allegations of bias-motivated conduct may be based on unfounded suspicion and may arise from an incident that involved a simple assault or other offense. For this reason, you can face substantially inflated consequences for certain actions if your school believes it was a crime.
If you have been accused of bias-motivated conduct by your college or university, it is imperative to seek representation by an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call 203-946-2000 for a free consultation with attorney Felice Duffy at Duffy Law, LLC today.
What constitutes bias-motivated conduct?
Bias-motivated conduct occurs when an offense is motivated by prejudice or bias against an individual or group due to protected factors such as race, religion, or sexual orientation. Bias-motivated conduct is further intended to cause fear, terror, or psychological or emotional harm to the targeted victim. Examples of acts on college campuses that may be considered to be bias-motivated conduct include:
- A physical assault accompanied by derogatory comments or slurs.
- Graffiti or other types of vandalism directed toward certain individuals with derogatory words or symbols (e.g. spray painting a swastika on the housing of a Jewish individual).
- Burning a cross on the lawn of a largely minority fraternity.
These are only a few examples as a wide array of unlawful acts may be considered to be bias-motivated conduct if biased motivation is inferred. To show biased or prejudiced motivations, however, an investigator must prove what you were thinking at the time of the act. Often, even if you did not say or display anything specifically prejudicial or offensive, a school administration may allege bias-motivated conduct based on circumstantial evidence.
Potential penalties for bias-motivated conduct violation
If a school administration determines that you were responsible for bias-motivated conduct in violation of the code of conduct, a lengthy suspension or expulsion will be the likely consequence. Colleges and universities have very low tolerance for bias-motivated conduct and often will discipline you to the fullest extent possible. In addition, if the alleged bias-motivated conduct in question also qualifies as a criminal offense, your school may report the incident to law enforcement and you may face charges in state court. These charges have severe penalties including probation or jail time, as well as a conviction on your permanent record.
Contact an experienced college student bias-motivated conduct defense lawyer for help today
Accusations of bias-motivated conduct by your college or university should never be taken lightly. Consequently, your first call should be to Duffy Law, LLC to consult with a skilled college student defense attorney regarding your case. Felice Duffy has worked as both a federal prosecutor and a Division I head coach and has a unique knowledge of both criminal defense and collegiate procedures. Please call at 203-946-2000 for a free confidential consultation with Attorney Duffy today.