Colorado Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorneys
Student Conduct Cases
If you are a student in a secondary school, college or university setting any allegation of misconduct – such as honor code violation/cheating, theft, or harassment of another student – will be handled by school administrators or by an office at your school which is dedicated to student conduct matters.
In Colorado, and the majority of other U.S. States, student conduct codes can be considered legal contracts and a student can force schools to follow through on their specific promises regarding the process and procedures laid out by their conduct code to resolve the matter. The exception occurs when the school creates a code of conduct and then specifically disavows the code to be a binding contract.
Most student conduct codes provide an opportunity to appeal an adverse decision in a student conduct matter. However, student conduct codes are often very specific as to format of an appeal, as well as the timing of any appeal, including appeal guidelines with inflexible dates that require that an appeal be filed in a matter of days after an adverse decision has been made by the governing authority.
Constitutional Rights and Federal Law
In public schools a student facing a student conduct matter can also rely upon his or her Constitutional Right to Due Process, and any applicable protection of a federal statute such as Title IX for sexual misconduct claims, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which protects individuals with disabilities in program and activities that receive federal assistance, to ensure their school has a fair process and that they adhere to the process in dealing with a student conduct case.
In a private school setting the school’s code of conduct is the primary source of remedy – unless some other federal law such as Title IX, FERPA, or Section 504 applies.
At many schools there is a meaningful opportunity to challenge an accusation or to provide mitigation, or in plain terms, an explanation for a student’s deviation from the code of conduct. Whenever you have received a Notice of Investigation (NOI) it is time to contact an experienced Student Conduct Attorney for advice.
It is also possible that a student conduct complaint can involve a parallel criminal investigation making it pivotally important to have an experienced Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyer assist you with your case, particularly if the student conduct complaint involves any sexual misconduct allegation which most schools will refer to internal investigative units sometimes called the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) or Title IX Office.
Experienced Student Conduct Help
A timely investigation led by an attorney conversation in both Education and Criminal Law is a pressing part of establishing and proving favorable facts since most schools fail to record their interviews of complaining parties or witnesses, and frequently delay providing you with basic information about the conduct claim that has been made. Your Mertes Law lawyers, specializing in both criminal defense and education law, can help. Call now for a free consultation.
The Student Conduct/OIEC Defense Lawyers at Mertes Law also handle Colorado student school district conduct complaints across Colorado.
For a free confidential consultation