If you are a college student and have been charged with a criminal offense, it is important to have someone fighting for you not only for the criminal charge but during University of RI's disciplinary hearings. Even if you have been acquitted of a criminal offense the school may still proceed against you in their own disciplinary hearing, which could result in expulsion from the school.
Chapter 9 of the University of RI student handbook explains that a disciplinary action may be implemented through violations to the Office of Student Life, Office of Campus Life or Office of Housing and Residential Life.
- A Charge Letter will be sent to the student informing them of the description of the alleged offense, with a date and location of the offense and which student code they are violating.
- The student has 2 business days to respond in writing and indicate whether they accept responsibility and the sanctions recommended, accept responsibility but don't accept the sanctions or denial of the allegation
- If the student chooses to dispute the allegation, they must indicate whether they choose an administrative hearing or a hearing before a panel
Types of Hearings
- Administrative Hearings are for cases where the student either fails to respond, by request of the student, the hearing relates to sanctions only, or the Office of Student Life believes that the hearing must occur quickly to insure the health and safety of the participants
- Panel Hearings are when the student denies responsibility or by request of the student. These hearings occur within 20 days of the student's written response and the student will receive notification of the time and place of the hearing 72 hours in advance. Other rights the student is afforded is to be notified of the identity of the panel members and a right to object to a panel member at least 48 hours prior to the hearing
The rules state that you are only entitled to have legal representation if there is a pending criminal matter or threat of suspension or expulsion, however it is important to consult with an attorney for a few reasons:
- Even if you haven't been charged with a crime, or a criminal charge has been dismissed, anything you say, or evidence presented in a hearing could result in new criminal charges or could resurrect even a dismissed criminal charge
- If the University is telling you that you are not allowed to have legal representation in these proceedings because it will not result in suspension or expulsion, you have a right to petition the Dean to allow legal representation
You want to protect the education you have invested time and money into, and the best way to do that is hiring an aggressive legal defense team for your criminal charge and/or disciplinary hearings. At Inman and Tourgee, our legal defense team is comprised of two former State prosecutors, with trial experience and experience handling URI police matters and disciplinary hearings. Call for your free legal consultation today or save our numbers in your phone in case of an arrest, we are available 24/7!