Students who have been arrested and charged with a crime may face judicial disciplinary proceedings with the university. Many of Boulder county law enforcement agencies report cases to the Office of Judicial Affairs(OJA), which can trigger a proceeding. These proceedings can be initiated for both on-campus and off-campus events. Not all criminal charges result in OJA proceedings, but those events which occur on campus nearly always result in disciplinary proceedings. There does not appear to be a uniform policy amongst the various law enforcement agencies. However, if a student tells the police officer involved in the investigation that he or she is a student at CU, the chances are good that the incident will be reported to to OJA.
After a case has been referred, the OJA will usually send a pre-hearing or pre-conference letter requesting that the student set a hearing within a specified time. It is important that this letter not be ignored. This hearing can be attended by the student, the OJA officer and the student’s lawyer. Although the legal advisor is allowed to ask questions of the student to ensure that all the pertinent information is presented, it is ultimately up to the student to choose from among the various options which may be presented to the student as a possible resolution to the hearing.
The student can choose to admit responsiblity and either be given sanction or conditions which the student must meet in order to remain at the university.
The student can choose to deny the accusations of wrongdoing and allow the hearing officer to determine responsiblity and possible sanctions or conditions, or the student can choose a hearing before an OJA panel.
Sanctions imposed can range from a reprimand to either reassignment of residence halls or loss of the privilege to reside in the dorms, probation, suspension (either or which could be suspended), suspension from the university for a specified period of time, or finally to outright expulsion from the university. There are many factors to be considered, including how serious the offense is, whether or not anyone was injured or subjected to injury, property damage, and prior disciplinary sanctions.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is important that you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney who will understand the effects that these charges can also have on a student’s ability to remain at the university. Hiring the right Boulder criminal attorney who has experience both with the criminal system and with the university judicial affairs may affect your future.