We represent students accused of crimes and misconduct on campus, including bullying, hazing, theft, assault and battery, possession of narcotics, and underage drinking. Because we are criminal defense attorneys, when a student is charged with both a school conduct violation and a crime we are able to represent the student in both proceedings, ensuring that the student’s participation in the school proceeding does not jeopardize his or her rights in the criminal matter.
As both criminal lawyers and lawyers experienced with campus disciplinary proceedings, we are uniquely positioned to think creatively and comprehensively about how to approach students’ cases. We think outside the box – looking for every possible way to get the relevant evidence and arguments before the administrative decision makers to best make our clients’ cases. Because university discipline cases tend to move very quickly, we are always prepared to jump in and begin investigation, evidence collection, and where appropriate, retain expert witnesses. We frequently engage not only with the school administrators, but with the university’s general counsel in a multi-level approach to ensure that our clients are treated fairly and that their cases get the full consideration they are due.
Our skill in handling these cases is borne out in the successes we have achieved. In one case we represented an undergraduate student charged with larceny for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a student group. We represented the student at the school disciplinary hearing, and she was exonerated of the charge. In another theft case we represented a medical student in both a school disciplinary proceeding and a concurrent criminal proceeding. The criminal case was dropped, and the student received only a short suspension from the medical school. In a case where our undergraduate client was accused of shoplifting, we succeeded in appealing the school’s decision and getting a rehearing of the case; at that rehearing the student’s punishment was reduced, allowing her to continue on to graduate school. We also represented a student accused of lighting fires on campus, brandishing a knife, and assaulting other students. We obtained an acquittal of many of the charges, and prevented him from being suspended or expelled by the school. We have represented many students accused of drug possession and drug sales, illegal alcohol use, and assault, obtaining victories for those students so they could continue their educational careers.
Even when criminal charges are not brought, being subjected to a school disciplinary proceeding for criminal behavior can have serious, lasting consequences for a student. Students may need to disclose university disciplinary matters not only to future educational programs to which the student may apply, but also to prospective employers. It is important to obtain legal advice as early in the process as possible in order to obtain the best possible outcome in each case. If you are facing college or university discipline, we urge you to call us at 617-742-6020 or fill out our online contact form to speak to an attorney who can assist you.