New Jersey School Discipline Defense Attorney
Defending Students in Disciplinary Proceedings in Schools across New Jersey
If you are eight, fifteen, or twenty-three and facing disciplinary action at your school, the repercussions can be catastrophic. Perhaps you are accused of bringing drugs or a weapon to school, distributing controlled substances to other students, assaulting or threatening another person, creating a disturbance at a school event, illegally drinking alcohol, or being under the influence of drugs on school property. Depending on your alleged violation, you may face criminal charges and disciplinary proceedings at your school. Such serious allegations can damage your reputation and result in punishments such as probation, suspension, restitution, and even expulsion. A negative outcome can also adversely affect your ability to pursue your educational or career goals. Simply put, school conduct proceedings must be taken extremely seriously. To ensure that your rights are not violated, and that you are in the best position to achieve a favorable outcome, it is highly advisable to have a defense attorney on your side.
Alissa Hascup is a seasoned criminal defense attorney who regularly represents grade school, middle school, high school, and college students facing school disciplinary proceedings and/or criminal charges in New Jersey. With offices in Totowa, Hackensack, Morristown, and Camden, Alissa comes to the aid of juveniles, young adults, and their families in courts and schools across the state. She is well-versed in New Jersey school disciplinary laws and regulations and refuses to allow schools to overstep their authority or violate the rights of her clients. Alissa will walk you and your child through every phase of the criminal and disciplinary process, whether it involves meetings with school administrators or formal hearings before a school disciplinary board. To discuss your or your child’s situation and find the answers you need, contact The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup today at 201-885-4876 for a cost-free initial consultation.
School Disciplinary Proceedings in New Jersey
Schools establish codes of conduct, which are defined as “standards, policies, and procedures established by education institutions for positive student development and student behavioral expectations on school grounds, including on school buses or at school-sponsored functions, and, as appropriate, conduct away from school grounds.” These may include specific policies related to drugs and alcohol; bullying and harassment; violent or threatening behavior; and academic integrity. If you are accused of violating a school’s code of conduct, you will likely face some form of disciplinary meeting, hearing, or conduct proceeding, the results of which can spell long-term negative implications for your future.
The New Jersey Department of Education has established certain guidelines and requirements for public schools in the state, while private schools, colleges and universities can enact their own student codes of conduct to regulate the behavior of their students. The United States Department of Education has also compiled a list of School Discipline Laws and Regulations, which apply to all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Schools must abide by these rules when dealing with disciplinary matters of their pupils.
As long as they are operating within the confines of the law, each school can determine its own policies and procedures to handle alleged violations of student codes of conduct. Some choose to have meetings with the student and his or her parents or guardians to discuss the alleged behavior. Others elect to have “informal hearings,” during which a school administrator has a conversation with the student regarding the student’s alleged misconduct. Still others go as far as to hold hearings before a Disciplinary Board that determines the outcome in the student’s case. The age of the student, the specific school’s policies, and the alleged conduct are factors that influence the way in which these matters are resolved. When dealing with such serious issues, it is highly advisable to have an attorney representing your or your child’s interests.
Potential Consequences of School Misconduct in New Jersey
There are a variety of punishments, sanctions, and alternative resolutions that may result from a school disciplinary proceeding, some of which include:
- Warning: an oral or written notice that continuation or repetition of conduct will result in disciplinary action
- Reprimand: a formal notice to the student that his or her behavior is unacceptable and that continuing that behavior will result in more serious consequences
- Restitution: some form of payment to the school, often to repair damaged property
- Probation: a period during which the student must comply with all school conduct rules and any other requirements, or face further disciplinary action, such as suspension
- Suspension: Suspensions can be “term” or “conditional.” A term suspension is for a given time period, while a conditional suspension requires the student to meet certain requirements before being allowed to return to school. Term suspensions can be short-term, where a student is removed from the educational institution for at least 1 but less than 10 consecutive days, or long-term, where the student is removed for more than 10 consecutive school days. Students can also be subject to “interim suspensions,” whereby they are suspended while their disciplinary proceeding is pending. This is generally employed in cases in which the student is deemed to pose a significant threat to him or herself, to other students, or to school property.
- Expulsion or Dismissal: the student is permanently terminated from enrollment at the school and no longer allowed to be on school grounds or to engage in school activities. Expulsion will be permanently recorded on the student’s academic transcript.
Contact a New Jersey School Conduct Violation Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you or your child is facing disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup for immediate assistance. Alissa regularly appears in schools and courts throughout New Jersey, including in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Middlesex, and Morris counties. Simply call 201-885-4876 today to receive your cost-free consultation.