Campus offenses are based on violations of the Student Handbook Code of Conduct, which is based more on ethics less than the actual crime. For example, plagiarism is something that is considered unethical in a student conduct situation. However, plagiarism is not a crime. Doing what is right is what universities are focused on with their ethical student code of conduct versus protecting the public at large, which is really what criminal statutes are based on. There is a little bit of overlap, but not everything that is considered a campus offense is going to result in criminal charges.
If you have been accused of misconduct while at school, speak to Jenn and Justice at Nicol Gersch Law. Having a seasoned campus misconduct attorney at your side could help you fight the accusations and charges. Call us today to learn about the common types of Colorado Front Range campus misconduct offenses.
A seemingly innocuous campus infraction such as a noise violation can lead to a student facing disciplinary action with the school. Noise violations are generally petty offenses in most Colorado towns, but they could face a fine for it. There may be noise interruptions on campus around dormitories that have quiet hours. However, noise infractions do not often get reported to local authorities.
CSU usually does not report, and most universities will not report those minor infractions to local law enforcement. They will just handle it internally, but if they got a noise violation outside of campus, it could affect some of their student rights. If a person knows they are going to be having loud parties, talking to their neighbors does not hurt. CSU also encourages any organized, off-campus parties to be reported and registered with the university to help mitigate any such noise or other complaints.
A common type of Colorado Front Range campus misconduct offense includes theft and robbery. Colleges tend to react to theft charges on campus in a number of different ways. Depending on the severity of the charges, theft in Colorado can be a minor misdemeanor case all the way up to more serious felony charges, depending on the value of the items taken or destroyed. Typically, for a shoplifting case off-campus, the university will make students take a theft class or making better choices class. They want to make sure that the bad behavior does not continue and that the underlying root cause of it is addressed.
Theft of University property is a little bit different. If they have a more serious felony case with a higher value involved, they should be prepared to pay back all of the money involved. They could face damages and restitution in both criminal and administrative court in a university setting.
Universities generally do not treat the destruction of property all that harshly unless it is a serious matter. It depends on the value of the item that was destroyed or damaged and the amount of money that it takes to repair it. For theft or property damage, they are probably not talking about expulsion or having huge restraining orders put against them, but there may be other requirements, such as taking classes, repaying the damage, or a curfew in addition to whatever is going on in the criminal case because those are completely separate sanctions.
A student can be charged with trespassing on campus if a protection order is involved. Every criminal case will automatically result in a Mandatory Protection Order (MPO) entering at the first appearance date. In some situations, the university can also issue what is called a trespassing order, and those two things are separate. The university may tell somebody that they are not allowed to come back to campus or particular areas of campus on their own. The mandatory protection order in the criminal case is generally put in place to prevent witness tampering and harassment after somebody reports a crime, so they do not want them to retaliate against the victim.
A trespassing notice and an MPO will have different requirements a lot of times. The problem is abiding by both requirements at all times. A good tip is to abide by the most strict terms, whichever order that is. Even if the protection order is lifted in criminal court and they can go back to the university, the university may still have a trespass order in effect, and they have to go through their administrative process to get that lifted.
A lot of people do not understand that there is an overlap between the two systems even though they are separate. It does happen where the university will trespass somebody from campus or from particular areas off-campus, and maybe there will never be criminal charges. In order to continue their education, an individual might have to switch to an online version of classes or maybe even withdraw and go to another university entirely, which is not uncommon in those situations.
Not all campus conduct systems are punitive. Often, campus administrative hearings will have restorative justice practices at their core. There has been a more recent development with the whole concept of restorative justice for minor crimes. If the victim is willing, the victim and the offender are put in a room together, and they talk about what happened and how the victim feels. They see if the offender is going to be empathetic to that, and try to learn from the experience in order not to repeat it.
Restorative justice practices are by far and away beneficial because they often result in more goodwill between the parties. In criminal court, if there has been restorative justice, the victim becomes more receptive to talking to the defense attorney and private investigator. Many criminal systems are not focused on restorative justice so much as punitive sanctions for the offender, though. The exception might be in juvenile prosecution, where there are a wide range of juvenile programs that are more in tune with therapy and making better choices, and less so on punitive sanctions.
There are many benefits of a campus misconduct attorney. They could help you understand the common types of Colorado Front Range campus misconduct offenses and your legal options. You do not need to accept the consequences of violating your school’s misconduct policy.
DO NOT TRY TO HANDLE YOUR CASE ALONE. Speak to Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Law to learn about fighting the charges. We are ready to help your case. Call today to get started building your defense.