Being prosecuted for a criminal offense is a deeply troubling situation for anyone to find themselves in, but college students, whose professional careers have not yet even begun, have additional pressures to consider. Many institutions of higher education may expel or suspend students with criminal convictions against them, the consequences of which may affect the student for decades to come.
Universities and other educational institutions take alleged behavior that reflects poorly on their reputation very seriously. Dallas-area college students charged with any criminal offense should consult a Texas legal college student defense legal expert to protect the safety of their future.
Common Offenses That Lead to Arrests for Texas College Students
College students can be arrested and face additional disciplinary action from their institution for any violation of federal, local, or state laws. Common offenses that college students may be arrested for or charged with include:
- Drug possession or distribution
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs
- Shoplifting and minor theft
- Criminal mischief
- Disorderly conduct
- Criminal trespassing
- Underage drinking
- Sexual assault and related crimes
When Will North Texas Universities Hold Disciplinary Hearings?
Universities vary in which criminal offenses they will hold disciplinary hearings for. In general, colleges hold a disciplinary hearing for criminal conduct that occurred on campus, especially if it occurred during operating hours. However, this does not mean that off-campus criminal conduct will not be investigated by the institution.
In addition to a criminal trial, or in place of a criminal trial, depending on the offense, college students charged with criminal offenses may be subject to a disciplinary hearing at their university. The University of Texas at Dallas’ Student Code of Conduct states that the university will conduct an investigation into alleged criminal offenses conducted off-campus if “the conduct impairs, interferes with, or obstructs any institutional activity or the mission, processes, and functions of the institution and whether the conduct adversely affects University interests,” in addition to other reasons.
UTD’s Student Code of Conduct also notes that “outcomes including finding of responsibility and sanctions shall not be subject to change because of criminal or civil outcomes.” In other words, the outcome of an external trial or court case will not affect the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, so a student may still be suspended, expelled, or face other disciplinary action from the university even if the outcome of their criminal trial is favorable.
Disciplinary Hearing Resources for Texas College Students
Each college will vary in its approach to a disciplinary hearing. Institutions may have different rules about which off-campus offenses they will investigate and different procedures for disciplinary hearings. It is important to familiarize yourself with your university’s Code of Conduct so that you know your rights before a disciplinary hearing. Find your university’s policy below, or contact a Dallas-Fort Worth area criminal defense attorney to assist you in navigating the complex legal language used in policy documents.
- Southern Methodist University Student Handbook (Student Code of Conduct and Conduct Review Process on page 13)
- Texas Christian University Code of Conduct
- University of Dallas Code of Conduct
- University of North Texas Code of Student Conduct
- University of Texas at Arlington Student Conduct and Discipline Policy
- University of Texas at Dallas Student Code of Conduct
Consult a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney to Protect Your Future
Effective legal counsel from an attorney can mean the difference between being able to continue your education and beyond and being suspended or expelled from your university. If you or your child is a Texas college student facing criminal charges that may threaten their future, it is essential to consult a legal expert with experience in criminal defense who knows how to protect your interests in a criminal trial as well as best advise you in a university disciplinary hearing. Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen have a proven track record of obtaining not guilty verdicts for their clients and decades of experience as criminal defense attorneys.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case.