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Student Offenses & University Tribunals

AB-Tech, UNC-A, WNC College / Underage Defense Lawyer

College can be a lot of fun and a growing experience for most students. At times, students may feel overwhelmed, and wrong decisions are made. Most universities will have students sign an student conduct agreement, often referred to as an “honor code”. This code establishes expectations of students' behaviors while they are enrolled. Any violations of the code, or other criminal conduct, can lead to harsh disciplinary actions from the school.

Consequences of Student Disciplinary Actions

If you are involved with an investigation relating to either scholastic or activity related matter, it is imperative that you seek an experienced attorney skilled in University Tribunal Hearings. Student discipline action can put your future at stake, including possible academic probation, suspension, expulsion, student loans, housing, and more.

Am I entitled to an Attorney?

In North Carolina, a college student has the right to be represented by an attorney in most student hearing matters. In situations where an attorney can not represent you at the hearing you can still obtain counsel and advice from an experienced attorney prior to the hearing.

What If I have other Criminal Charges?

Being charged with a criminal matter can cause a University to react and take separate disciplinary action. These criminal charges could include:

  • Assault
  • Disorderly conduct
  • DWI and DWI under 21
  • Fake ID possession
  • Underage possession of alcohol
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute or for personal use
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Prescription Drug Charges
  • Sexual assault or battery

As a former prosecutor, Thomas Amburgey has the experience needed to protect your rights, and to ensure your future is unmarred by criminal charges. He understands the significant risk for High School and College students relating to criminal charges and the lasting, long-term effects on their future. He is able to represent you in both your state and federal criminal charges and in your university tribunal hearing.

What is a University Tribunal Hearing?

University tribunal hearings can be confusing, and sometimes people are in danger of misunderstanding the charges, quickly wanting to get everything back on track and not engaging in the proper defense of the allegations. This approach is a mistake, and it is usually in your favor to dispute the charge and maintain a clean record.

Each school has their own disciplinary process, with their own rules and procedures. While the process for student offense hearings is somewhat similar to the process of a criminal matter, the rules and procedures are vastly different. Generally a tribunal hearing will have the following steps.

  1. An Accusation. Every disciplinary action will begin with an accusation of misconduct, either from a fellow student or faculty member.
  2. The Investigation. Once an accusation is made there can either be an investigation or a preliminary review depending on the situation and the allegations. This may encompass questioning of you and others involved to build a case against you.
  3. The Hearing. Once a hearing is scheduled, you will receive a notice allowing you time to prepare. Depending on the school, you may have the option of a closed or open, public hearing, if it is a formal hearing. The school may conduct an informal hearing, also known as a disciplinary conference. Regardless of the hearing type, you will have to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty and present your case just as you would in a criminal matter.
  4. An Appeal. If an unfavorable verdict is entered against you, we can help you in determining your available options of appealing the decision.

At Amburgey Law, we will review the pertinent documents, gather facts, determine the applicable law and provide the best course of action. Don’t let a mistake derail your future. If you are faced with a student discipline or criminal matter, Thomas Amburgey has the experience and skills you need. Call us today for a consultation to discuss your legal options.

Need help with a criminal matter? Look no further. Help starts here.

For more information or to schedule your free consultation with an experienced North Carolina Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, please contact us by telephone at 828.989.3210 or online by filling out the form provided.


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