In 2014 a new state law took effect that now allows students in the UNC-System to hire an attorney to represent them in non-academic honor court cases. This has been a massive change in the process for on campus violations that students still have yet to take full advantage of. If you are charged with a non-academic honor court violation it is recommend that you use an experienced honor court attorney who understands the internal process that schools use, especially here in Chapel Hill, NC.
What Is Honor Court At UNC?
As an incoming student to UNC, everyone is required to sign The Instrument of Student Judicial Governance for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill.) Otherwise known as “The Instrument” for the university’s Honor Code. The Instrument establishes the general standards expected of UNC-Chapel Hill students, but it also lays out how the Honor Code is enforced. The punishments can range from a written warning to expulsion, making it extremely important to be represented by an experienced attorney in these matters.
What Factors Determine Sanctions In The UNC Honor Court
There are a multitude of factors that go into the case for or against you as part of a UNC Honor Code violation. As experienced attorneys, we here at the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski know the full complexity of cases and can help students receive the most desired outcome possible by understanding the full range of factors that determine sanctions.
Some factors that are used in determining sanctions include:
The Honor Court shall take into account the following factors in imposing sanctions:
- The gravity of the offense in question
- The value of learning through experience
- The importance of equitable treatment for similar offenses
- Other compelling circumstances
A course instructor’s grade recommendation is binding upon the Honor Court in cases involving academic dishonesty.
Flexibility and Available Sanctions-
The Honor Court is allowed to impose any combination of sanctions it deems appropriate, so long as they do not conflict with other provisions of the Honor Code.
The Importance of Honesty-
If the Honor Court or any member of the Honor System staff believes that a student has furnished false information in connection with any and all Honor System proceedings, the matter will be referred to the applicable Student Attorney General, who may charge the student with an additional violation of the Honor Code.
I’ve Been Charged With A Violation Of The UNC Honor Code, What Now?
Being charged with a criminal offense in any context is a stressful matter. Since you have been charged with a student conduct violation at UNC-Chapel Hill, you should know that you have several options. The first thing to note is that the North Carolina General Statute § 116-40.11 states that students accused of any conduct violation have the right to be represented by a licensed attorney who can “fully participate during any disciplinary procedure or other procedure adopted and used by the constituent institution regarding the alleged violation.” There is only one exception to this rule and those are cases that involve allegation of academic dishonesty, cheating or grad manipulation. Otherwise it is your right to be represented and it is one you should fully explore before proceeding in any case against you through the UNC Honor Court.
What Is The Process For Honor Court Representation At UNC In Chapel Hill, NC?
Once a charge has been filed against a student, cases usually follow the same pathway.
1) Student Attorney Conference
This will be the first step where the student reaches out to hire an attorney. Once chosen the attorney and student will meet to discuss the intimate details of the case against you. As with any attorney what is said here is protected.
2) The Hearings Procedure
Once charged, the student will have several options available as far as what the hearing will entail. These are often complicated and require a careful analysis of available options and close teamwork with the student attorney the honor court assigns to the student’s case. Our attorneys have experience in advising students through every phase of the initial hearings.
Sometimes the initial hearing may not fall in the student’s favor. If this happens, our attorneys have successfully appealed previous decisions to make sure the consequences are not severe. Our aim is to protect what is most valuable to the student whether that’s continued education for currently enrolled students or ensuring graduation plans remain intact for those who plan to graduate. We can help draft petitions so that there’s a good chance the appellate boards will hear the case.
Why Should You Choose the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski?
We have strong ties to UNC and the city of Chapel Hill, NC. The way UNC administers these charges reflects on the university as a whole, and it means a lot to the firm to help students receive a fair chance to contest the alleged violation. The firm’s attorneys have been members of the community for decades. Their families gain their livelihood from the university and keep close ties with the school’s organizations. Many of the firm’s legal assistants are also students who are active in student organizations and Greek life. Our office is just off Franklin Street, this is our town too.
Looking For An Honor Court / Title IX Attorney?If you’ve been charged with Honor Code Vialation then it’s vital to find an attorney who will do everything in his power to represent your best interests on campus. We proudly defend Chapel Hill, NC; as well as the surrounding Triangle. Contact Your Local Chapel Hill & Durham Attorneys For A Free Consultation
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