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Understanding Evidence at a Student Conduct Hearing

Alec Rose Law Office Aug. 19, 2022

Scientific police opens with scissors a bag of evidence.Colleges and universities in California and other states enforce a code of conduct for their students. Violating an educational institution’s code of conduct may subject a student to various sanctions, including disciplinary action. If you are accused of violating a code of conduct, you may be scheduled to participate in a student conduct hearing.

The repercussions of violating a code of conduct can be severe, which is why it is important to determine your defense options and understand how evidence can help you at the student conduct hearing.

As a student defense attorney with over 25 years of experience, I am dedicated to protecting the rights of students across California. I work to protect those accused of code of conduct violations and other types of misconduct. At the Alec Rose Law Office, it is my job to obtain the most favorable outcome for my clients. With an office in Los Angeles, California, I represent clients facing student conduct hearings across the state, including those who study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), UC Berkeley, the Claremont Colleges, California Institute of Technology, and other universities and colleges.

What Is a Student Conduct Hearing?

Every college and university has a code of conduct. For example, UCLA, which is located just three miles from my office, developed its student conduct code to create and maintain a supportive, inclusive, and safe campus community to help students foster personal growth and academic success, according to the university’s website.

When a student is believed to have violated a university code of conduct, the institution will schedule a student conduct hearing to evaluate the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct, investigate the matter, and review the evidence presented by both sides.

A student conduct hearing, which can be initiated after the receipt of a report of misconduct, is an informal hearing. Students are not allowed to bring their parents or attorneys into the hearing. Instead, they can select an advisor to advise them during the proceedings.

Types of Evidence 

Evidence plays a crucial role at a student conduct hearing. However, if you are a student accused of violating a code of conduct, you need to understand the types of evidence you can present during the hearing to minimize or avoid possible repercussions.

The types of evidence that a student and an attorney-advisor can present at a student conduct hearing vary from one case to another. They also depend on the college/university and the alleged violations.

Some of the most common types of evidence that can be presented at a student conduct hearing include:

  • Social media posts

  • Text messages

  • Videos, including surveillance footage

  • Photos

  • Witness statements (testimony of people who saw what happened)

  • Toxicology report

  • Medical records

  • Polygraph examination

  • Other forensic evaluations

The types of evidence that can be used at a student conduct hearing depend on many factors. An attorney will evaluate the specific details of your case in order to gather the necessary evidence to be presented for your defense at a student conduct hearing.

Evidence Prior to the Hearing 

Another thing to understand about student conduct hearings is that a student will generally submit the evidence they have gathered in order for the hearing board to prepare questions. When a hearing is initiated, the hearing coordinator will reach out to the student (the respondent) and the complaining party. They will provide them with the information about the hearing. Parties will have an opportunity to share evidence during a pre-hearing conference.

The pre-hearing conference allows the student to understand the accusations that were made against them. At the student conduct hearing, parties will make opening statements, review the evidence, question witnesses, and then make closing statements.

Why Evidence Is Crucial for Your Hearing 

Gathering evidence is crucial because the evidence you present at your student conduct hearing will affect the outcome. Depending on how strong or weak your case is, you can be found responsible for the alleged violation or get the charges against you dismissed.

Allegations of student misconduct can jeopardize your future, which is why building a strong case is so important. As a student defense attorney at the Alec Rose Law Office, I understand the importance of providing effective advocacy to clients facing accusations of violating a code of conduct. I assist clients with gathering all available evidence and help them create strategies tailored to their specific circumstances.

Turn to Reliable Representation

If you are facing accusations of violating a code of conduct, you need a reliable attorney on your side. At the Alec Rose Law Office, I have defended students at student conduct hearings for over 25 years. My office is based in Los Angeles, California, but I provide representation and guidance to clients in San Diego, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino County, and other parts of the state. Reach out today for a case review.