Disciplinary Hearing Attorney for UPenn Students

If you are facing a disciplinary hearing at the University of Pennsylvania, you will want to be thoroughly prepared to defend yourself. A disciplinary hearing could affect your academic life in a number of ways, like the loss of housing or even facing expulsion in some cases. If you or a family member is facing a disciplinary hearing at the University of Pennsylvania, consult with an experienced Philadelphia disciplinary hearing attorney today.

The Law Offices of Lloyd Long understands the consequences that can accompany a disciplinary hearing, and we are here to represent you diligently. Our firm will work tirelessly to pursue the outcome you deserve for your disciplinary hearing. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your situation, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 or contact us online.

UPenn Disciplinary Proceeding Process

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has a Code of Academic Integrity and a Code of Student Conduct that discusses what is expected of students that attend the university. These codes consist of a number of rules that students must follow, like obeying state and federal laws and obeying academic rules like not plagiarizing work from others.

When a student breaks the law or violates a university code of conduct, before moving to a disciplinary hearing, UPenn will attempt to reach a voluntary agreement with the student that allegedly committed the illicit act. The voluntary agreement is an attempt to find a middle ground between the student and the institution. However, this option typically requires the student to admit wrongdoing and agree to some type of sanction for their actions. If a student does not want to consent to this agreement, the university will move forward with a disciplinary hearing.

UPenn’s Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is responsible for dealing with disciplinary hearings regarding students. The hearing board is typically comprised of three members of the faculty and student members of UPenn’s University Honor Council.

Disciplinary hearings operated by UPenn have a specific structure that is followed. This process includes the following:

  • Explanation of the hearing process
  • Opening statements
  • Presentation of charges against the student
  • Summary of the investigation and evidence against the student, including identification of OSC witnesses
  • Inquiries by student
  • Presentation of the student’s case
  • Summary statements from the complainant, OSC, and the student
  • Deliberation and the decision by the panel

Note, however, that UPenn disciplinary proceedings do not operate like a criminal proceeding or even a civil proceeding. This means that the burden of proof for offenses will be much lower in comparison to a typical legal proceeding. For example, criminal cases require a conviction to be attained “beyond a reasonable doubt,” while the burden of proof for disciplinary hearings could be a simple “preponderance of the evidence.”

Admission of Evidence

The admission of evidence in a disciplinary hearing is only permitted if the evidence is relevant. While this is similar to the standards in a criminal legal proceeding, the university may have other requirements for what constitutes relevant evidence. Our firm can help you explore the type of evidence that you can use to defend yourself in a disciplinary hearing.

Assistance by an Attorney

UPenn’s disciplinary process permits the use of an attorney as an advisor. An attorney is permitted to help you prepare a presentation to the OSC panel and to help gather and question witnesses. However, some issues will have to be handled by the student alone.

Panel Decision

To determine whether a student should be held liable for an offense, the OSC panel only has to come to a majority agreement. All members of the panel do not have to reach a unanimous decision.

The student should receive a report with a summary of the case. This report should include:

  • A summary of the OSC panel decision
  • The line of reasoning used by the panel when making their decision
  • The finding of facts in the case
  • The sanctions imposed against the student if they are found guilty of the charges in question

The sanctions imposed on a student can largely depend on the type of laws broken or the conduct exhibited. For example, if a student was arrested for assault on another student, this could lead to a suspension, loss of housing, loss of financial aid, or other penalties. If you are concerned about your upcoming disciplinary hearing, you should not waste time in contacting an experienced lawyer.

Work with an Experienced UPenn Disciplinary Hearing Lawyer You Can Trust

If you need legal assistance to deal with a disciplinary hearing, contact an experienced disciplinary hearing lawyer for UPenn students today. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long only take a small volume of cases to ensure that we can offer our clients the attention their case needs. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

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