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What to Expect at a Student Conduct Hearing

Alec Rose Law Office Feb. 5, 2022

Arrested teenager with handcuffs on his handsAccording to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), about 28,500 criminal incidents against persons and property on campuses of post-secondary institutions were reported to police and security agencies in 2018. Students in colleges and universities in California and across the United States are expected to follow their schools’ codes of student conduct. Allegations involving misconduct or violation of the university's code of student conduct are investigated and examined using a student conduct hearing.

If you are a student facing allegations of violating a university's code of student conduct, retaining a highly-skilled California criminal defense attorney is crucial for proper guidance and immediate intervention. At the Alec Rose Law Office, I am dedicated to providing experienced legal services and helping students at UCLA, The Claremont Colleges, UC Davis, Cal-Tech, and other educational institutions across California defend themselves against misconduct allegations. As your legal counsel, I will enlighten you about what to expect at a student conduct hearing and offer you the knowledgeable legal guidance you need to represent yourself during the disciplinary hearing.

My firm – the Alec Rose Law Office – proudly serves clients across Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino County, and San Diego, California.

Overview of a Student Conduct Hearing

A student conduct hearing involves a meeting with students accused of violating the school's code of student conduct and evaluating the surrounding circumstances of the misconduct or complaint. The disciplinary proceedings may be initiated any time the school administrative officers receive a report of misconduct.

The student conduct hearing is an informal hearing that is closed to everyone except you, your advisor, hearing officer, Associate Dean of Students: Student Conduct, their advisor, and someone to record the meeting. You will receive a written description of the specific rule that was violated and information about what to expect at the conduct hearing.

What to Expect

Here are some aspects of a conduct hearing that you should expect:

Hearing Notice: Prior to the hearing, you will receive a hearing notice stating the specific alleged violation of the school's code of student conduct.

Consult With Your Attorney: If you are confused about anything, it is important that you consult with your attorney for further clarification.

Outline of Your Presentation: The disciplinary hearing involves a panel that will review the various misconduct allegations, complaints, and evidence brought against you. Before facing the panel, it is important that you outline your presentation carefully. Here's what you need to do:

  • Create a detailed outline of what happened.

  • Include necessary evidence.

  • Gather witness statements and testimonies, if there are any.

  • Collect and submit any evidence.

  • Ensure that your story of the incident is in order.

Opening Statement: At the disciplinary hearing, your opening statement is your first opportunity to address the hearing officers. Make sure you give an opening statement that tells your side of the case persuasively.

Tell Your Story: During the disciplinary hearing, you may be given an opportunity to tell your story. Tell your story convincingly in a way that the hearing officers can relate to. Include all the necessary details that support the story. Most importantly, be truthful when telling your story.

Be Prepared to Answer Tough Questions: The hearing officers and investigators will ask you extremely personal and tough questions regarding the alleged misconduct. Be prepared to answer these questions truthfully.

Closing Statement: Your closing statement is your final statement to the hearing officers before deliberation begins. Give a closing statement that reiterates the important facts, summarizes the evidence you have presented, and requests the hearing officer to consider the evidence and apply the law in your favor.

You may bring an advisor to the disciplinary hearing. However, an attorney may not be allowed to represent you or speak on your behalf. Regardless, you don't have to face it alone. An experienced lawyer can intervene quickly on your behalf, help you prepare for the hearing, or take preemptive measures to extinguish any speculative investigation even before it starts.

How Legal Counsel Can Help Your Situation

Allegations of misconduct are serious and could jeopardize your liberty, personal reputation, education, and future opportunities. With your education and so much else on the line, getting effective advocacy is imperative. If you have been accused of violating a rule in the school's code of student conduct, you need to speak with a knowledgeable campus misconduct attorney immediately for detailed guidance and to help you navigate key decisions.

For more than 25 years, I have been helping students of educational institutions across California defend themselves against misconduct accusations. As your legal counsel, I can help you understand your present situation and conduct an in-depth, private investigation. Also, I will coach you through the disciplinary process and prepare you extensively for your student conduct hearing. Having me on your side can improve your chances of the best possible outcome in your student conduct hearing.

If you're a student at the center of a misconduct allegation, contact my firm – the Alec Rose Law Office – today to schedule a simple case evaluation. I will offer you the detailed legal counsel and strong advocacy you need to represent yourself in your disciplinary proceedings effectively. My firm is proud to serve clients throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino County, and San Diego, California.