Smart & Aggressive
attorneys defending you.
click for a free consultation

What Is the Disciplinary Process for On-Campus Crime?

Posted on October 11, 2023 in Criminal Defense,On-Campus Crime

On-campus crimes at Arizona schools can include drug and alcohol offenses, rape or sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, and theft and robbery. If you are being accused of any type of on-campus crime, it is important to consult with a Tucson criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help you protect your rights. You may be facing serious disciplinary actions from your school as well as criminal charges brought against you by city prosecutors.

Basic Disciplinary Process for an On-Campus Crime in Arizona

Educational institutions such as colleges and universities are governed by both federal law and institutional policies when it comes to taking disciplinary action against students found guilty of committing on-campus crimes. Although each case and school is unique, most abide by the same general steps when investigating a report and taking disciplinary action:

  • An incident or alleged crime is reported, often by a victim, witness or university official. A law enforcement officer or member of the campus security team is immediately dispatched to investigate.
  • Offices at the school review the report to determine under which jurisdiction the misconduct case falls (such as the Title IX Office for sexual assault accusations).
  • Interim measures may be put in place, such as the temporary suspension of the accused student or no-contact orders protecting the alleged victim.
  • The university or college will conduct a thorough investigation, which typically involves interviewing relevant parties, gathering evidence and collecting documentation.
  • Depending on the school’s policies, a formal disciplinary hearing may occur where both parties have the opportunity to recount the event and present evidence.

After the hearing, a decision will be made regarding whether the accused student committed the alleged offense. If the student is found responsible, sanctions (disciplinary actions) may be imposed by the school. These are typically decided by a designated panel or an official at the institution. Both parties can appeal the school’s decision based on specific grounds.

Specific Procedures Vary From School to School

Different campuses in Arizona abide by unique policies regarding how an alleged on-campus crime is addressed. Three examples are as follows:

  • Arizona State University: the student or student’s representative has the right to be notified of the alleged crime or misconduct, know the source of the allegations, know the specific alleged violation, know the sanctions or restrictions that may be imposed because of the allegation, refrain from making any statement relevant to the allegation, and be accompanied by an advisor (including an attorney) at any disciplinary hearing.
  • University of Arizona: the Student Code of Conduct states that violations can result in assigned sanctions, including suspension and expulsion. Disciplinary actions will be considered part of a student’s education record, which will stay on file for five years (or permanently in a case of suspension or expulsion). This can impact the student’s ability to continue his or her education at a different school in the future.
  • Maricopa Community Colleges: if an alleged crime is reported to the college’s Police Department or Campus Security Authorities, someone will be immediately dispatched to investigate. If the allegations result in a student being held responsible for an on-campus crime, each Community College will have the chance to respond administratively with disciplinary procedures, which may include suspension or expulsion for student offenders. 

If you or your child has been accused of an on-campus crime or act of misconduct in Arizona, do not wait to contact a criminal defense lawyer at AZ Defenders for a free case consultation. Our attorneys can guide you through the school’s disciplinary process as well as represent you in the criminal courts.