College students facing criminal charges have two battles in front of them: one in the criminal justice system and one at school.
Most people accused of crimes are aware of the possible criminal penalties, including fines and incarceration. College students accused of crimes also run the risk of sanctions from their school. While sanctions vary from one school to the next, they can be serious. They can interfere with an education, or end it altogether, destroying future career plans.
Disciplinary Action Against College Students Charged With Crimes
For example, the University of Oklahoma's student conduct policies outline many layers of student discipline that are completely independent of criminal penalties:
- Educational sanctions such as community service, papers, classes, programs or counseling
- Administrative fees
- Exclusion from student housing
- Denial of access to all or part of the campus
- Suspension for a limited period of time or until certain conditions are met
- Expulsion, not only from the University of Oklahoma but from all campuses governed by the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma
- Denial or restriction of university services
- Delayed conferral of degree
Immediate Action Is Needed
Do not assume that you only need to handle the criminal matter and all the educational issues will fall into place. That is not necessarily the case. While the school penalties may hinge on you being convicted of the criminal charge in some circumstances, you cannot ignore the school-related issues. You must take action on both fronts, and you must do it quickly because these matters are time-sensitive.
At the University of Oklahoma, you only have five days upon receipt of a letter from Student Conduct to respond. Failure to do so could result in a hold on your enrollment or default sanctions against you.
Get An Ally On Your Side
With this much at stake, it is worth having an ally on your side. Choose a criminal defense lawyer who understands the complex interplay between the criminal justice system and your education. At Nichols Law Firm in Norman, we defend college students against all criminal charges, including drug charges like marijuana possession, drunk driving charges, assault charges, theft charges, and underage drinking charges.