Do Students Need Attorneys When Facing Hazing Charges?

July 7, 2018

Louisiana State University is now a hazing-free campus, or at least that is the impression being conveyed by recent policy changes. Any student involved in a hazing incident will be expelled. Any fraternity or student organization involved will be banned from the university. These zero tolerance policies make it clear that a culture shift is…

Louisiana State University is now a hazing-free campus, or at least that is the impression being conveyed by recent policy changes. Any student involved in a hazing incident will be expelled. Any fraternity or student organization involved will be banned from the university. These zero tolerance policies make it clear that a culture shift is coming, and some students may find they need legal help if they are facing hazing charges.

What Incited the LSU Hazing Crackdown?

In mid-September, an LSU fraternity was having a get-together described as “Bible Study”. At this party, pledges had to take a shot every time they gave a wrong answer to a question about the fraternity. At least one student passed out from the resulting drinking. That student was left on a couch to sleep it off. The next morning, he was dead.

LSU police arrested ten men and charged them with hazing, a misdemeanor charge here in Louisiana. One of those men was also charged with negligent homicide. In response to that incident, LSU instituted it’s zero tolerance policy for hazing incidences. However, it may surprise some to know that not all of the ten students arrested for hazing were expelled.

When Facing Hazing Charges, Legal Help Is a Must

One of the ten men arrested in this hazing incident was not enrolled at LSU at the time of the incident. Three more students were either expelled or withdrew from the university. In the end, a grand jury chose to only indict four of the original ten men arrested. However, six of the students arrested were either placed on probation or faced no university punishment at all. How did these students get off in light of LSU’s new zero-tolerance policy?

One reason may have been that campus police may have arrested students who were present but not involved in the hazing incident. Though the university itself did not comment on the issue, at least three of the students claimed they weren’t involved the hazing. At their student disciplinary hearings, evidence of their nonparticipation may have played a critical role.

When facing criminal charges, it is critical that students present a clear defense with strong evidence. A criminal defense attorney can conduct a comprehensive investigation that may provide just such evidence. This could help your child not only beat criminal charges, but it could help them face any student disciplinary actions too. That could prove vital to protecting their future, and ensuring they graduate with a degree.

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