The relatively broad definition of hazing can lead to allegations after events that seem innocent to those unfamiliar with the law (or the definition contained in a school’s code of conduct). In addition, many people still engage in overt hazing rituals out of a sense of tradition or due to significant peer pressure.
If you are accused of hazing by your school or by law enforcement, say as little as possible until you speak to an attorney. In fact, when it comes to the police, if you ask for a lawyer, the law requires them to stop asking you questions about the incident until you retain legal counsel.
Once you face formal hazing allegations, what you say and do typically cannot help you—it can only hurt you. Refrain from discussing the matter with other members of your organization, because you never know who is working with school or law enforcement authorities to minimize their own consequences. In addition, do not delete, destroy, or share anything that could constitute evidence, because that could result in additional legal problems. Finally, have your attorney contact your fraternity, sorority, or other organization’s national legal counsel, if applicable.
Not every hazing allegation is justified, and increased national focus on the issue often results in catching up innocent people in overly broad hazing investigations and imposing severe penalties. In addition, the conduct at issue (or your particular role in it) may not fall within the legal definition of hazing that the school or law enforcement authorities use. For this reason, in many cases, an attorney can have a significant impact on how you resolve your hazing case.
Call Duffy Law to Speak with a College Hazing Defense Attorney Today
Public attitudes toward hazing have significantly shifted during recent years, and colleges, universities, and state courts have begun imposing serious penalties against people who violate codes of conduct and the law. Furthermore, the consequences of a hazing conviction can harm you long after any sanctions imposed by your school or a court have ended.
If a school or law enforcement accuses you of hazing, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Duffy Law, our team of college code violation and criminal defense lawyers represent people accused of hazing and other violations related to student conduct. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call our office today at (203) 946-2000 or send us an email through our online contact form.