Many colleges and universities in South Carolina have implemented a code of conduct for their students to follow. The code of conduct may cover both academic and non-academic behavior relating to:
- Academic integrity (e.g., plagiarism, cheating, forgery)
- Drug and alcohol use and distribution
- Harassment (online or in-person)
- Sexual assault and other forms of violence
- Possession of firearms
- Disorderly conduct
If a student is accused of violating the code of conduct, it is important to remember that students have rights and are entitled to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Generally, this means that the school must:
- Provide the student notice of the allegations.
- Allow the student to hear the evidence against them.
- Give the student a fair opportunity to state their case in front of an unbiased panel of officials (typically the college’s disciplinary board).
If the disciplinary board determines that a student has violated the code of conduct, the student may face severe consequences, depending on the nature of the offense. Potential consequences may include probation, suspension, loss of financial aid, or even expulsion. An attorney can represent you during your disciplinary hearing to ensure your rights are protected.
Could I face criminal charges?
Many college students facing crimes may face criminal charges for crimes allegedly committed on campus. Drug possession, drug distribution, sexual assault, assault, and driving under the influence are some of the most common criminal offenses committed by college students. If you are convicted of a criminal charge, you may face significant fines, probation, and jail time.
A code of conduct violation could have an impact on a student’s life long after college is over. If you have been accused of violating your school’s code of conduct, an attorney can present a strong defense on your behalf and potentially limit the consequences you face.