Lawyers for College Students
Protecting the Rights and Interests of College and University Students
College should provide excitement for young adults—they go off on their own, get to make their own decisions, and have their entire lives ahead of them. However, a variety of legal issues can quickly derail the college experience. Many of these legal matters are unique to college students and governed by complex, ever-changing federal laws. If you or your college student is facing a legal problem, please do not hesitate to call the lawyers at Duffy Law, who have years of experience in representing college students.
College Code Violations
Every public and private college and university in the United States has a code of conduct. While these codes may differ in the details, one thing remains the same—a college code violation can put your higher education—and your future—in jeopardy. These codes cover hundreds of possible violations, but some of the more common acts that get college students in trouble include:
- Underage drinking
- Drug possession
- Sexual misconduct
- Academic violations
In many cases, college students may not even know they violated a rule. For example, most students understand that plagiarism is against the academic code, but they may not realize that self-plagiarism can have the same consequences. Students may believe they can harmlessly use ideas or material from a previous paper they wrote, and suddenly they are facing failing grades—or worse, marks on their academic records.
If your school accuses you of a code of conduct violation, you may need to attend a disciplinary hearing. The results of this hearing can determine your future path, and you need to ensure that you know how to best protect your rights. You need the advice of an experienced college code defense attorney who understands how disciplinary proceedings work at colleges and universities. We regularly advise students to help them avoid wrongful violations or overly harsh consequences.
Experienced Title IX Attorney
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is one of the most complicated and, perhaps, misunderstood federal laws. In short, Title IX protects students, faculty, coaches, and other employees at publicly funded schools from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. This law applies to the large majority of colleges and universities in the United States, as well as to the students at these institutions.
Many issues can arise under Title IX, including:
- Unequal athletic opportunities for men and women
- Unequal access to facilities or educational programs
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- A school’s failure to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct
- Discrimination in any other school-related group or program
Title IX governs many issues in America’s universities, but recent years have seen this law applied, with great publicity, to campus sexual misconduct. In these cases, the alleged victims of the sexual misconduct should receive the necessary protection to continue their educations, including changing schedules, housing, and more. They also deserve a fair investigation into the allegations, as well as proper disciplinary action against the accused if a school determines the misconduct occurred.
On the other hand, a student accused of sexual misconduct also has the constitutional right to due process before the school takes any disciplinary action. The Department of Education recently released new guidance instructing schools to ensure their procedures for sexual assault investigations and hearings sufficiently protect the rights of all students involved.
Not many attorneys fully understand the complex web of laws, guidance, and rules involved in Title IX cases. If you believe your school violated your Title IX rights in any way, you need an attorney with extensive experience handling this type of case. Call Duffy Law for a consultation today.
Not only can misconduct get college students in trouble with their institutions, but some acts also violate state law. Colleges or crime victims may report criminal acts to local authorities—and suddenly a student can face arrest and serious criminal charges. In many situations, a criminal case can take place at the same time as a college disciplinary hearing.
Students in this position must seek qualified legal representation from an attorney who can handle both the college disciplinary case and the case in criminal court. Never take any criminal charge lightly—even if it seems relatively minor. Even a state misdemeanor conviction can result in costly fines, probation, or time in jail. Criminal convictions on your record can leave lasting consequences, as they can affect your future employment and educational opportunities. You may become ineligible for collegiate athletics, may lose scholarships and financial aid, and may even get expelled from your school.
At Duffy Law, we regularly defend college students against an array of criminal charges in Connecticut, including:
- Underage alcohol possession
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Marijuana or narcotic possession
- Possession of pharmaceutical drugs
- Domestic assault
- Sexual assault
Criminal courts do not view criminal acts by young people as careless mistakes. College students are old enough that the law will treat them like any other adult facing criminal charges—and they can receive the same harsh penalties. After an arrest, every student needs aggressive defense representation.
Discuss Your Legal Matter With a Lawyer Who Knows How to Represent College Students
The team of lawyers at Duffy Law knows how hard it is for a legal matter to disrupt your college experience. You should focus on your educational success and your future—not on defending against misconduct allegations. We also know that each of these legal matters carries serious consequences, and we are here to help college students in this position.
Did your school accuse you of a code of conduct violation?
Did another student accuse you of sexual misconduct?
Were you the victim of sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination on campus?
Do you feel your school violated your rights to equal opportunities based on your gender?
Are you facing criminal charges?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, please call Duffy Law at (203) 946-2000 or contact us online to discuss your situation and a possible case today.