There's a lot of instances where people are charged with hazing-related to activities with a fraternity or sorority at a university or college and these are serious charges. Really, the definition of hazing is kind of a broad, murky definition, but the bottom line is if you're doing activities that are customarily defined as hazing – and basically, that means that you're doing something that can result in some sort of an injury or death to one of the pledgers in the fraternity or sorority – you're going to be charged with hazing. If any type of injury or death results, you're going to be looking at a felony, a prison time and some real serious ramifications.
If during the hazing no injury results, then it will probably be charged as a misdemeanor. You could still be looking at some County jail time or some other punishments. These hazing charges are so serious because if you get involved with them, not only will you be prosecuted by the criminal prosecutors, you're also going to be looking at some sort of punishment through the college where this hazing occurred. A lot of times they will expel you. The fraternity or sorority will be punished who deals with the greeting system and kick people off campus, put them on probation relating to hazing activities.
What Are Some Defenses To A Hazing Charge?
One defense is that you're not involved. Just because you're in a fraternity, if you're not directly involved with the hazing that is taking place, obviously you shouldn't be charged and convicted of any hazing-related activities. They are going to need witnesses and evidence. A lot of times they will just arrest somebody without getting the full story of what happened, so that's my job as a criminal defense attorney when you're charged with a hazing charge and they're using this Penal Code §245.6C against you. I have to make sure they can prove all the elements against you and again like I said, there are good defenses that can be utilized to either find you not guilty or mitigate things down – get you some sort of diversion or infraction – something that does not stay on your permanent criminal record. I've also been involved in helping people regarding their school – either helping them prepare for the hearing that is going to eventually come up or actually being involved with the hearing – depending on the particular school's rules regarding the hazing and their punishment as it relates to the students at the college.
So, if you have a hazing case, your best bet is to sit down with an attorney who has handled these types of cases before, knows what they're doing, knows what type of defenses are available to you and can really get your side of the story across.
What Are Some Factors That Will Help You In Defending A Hazing Case Pursuant To Penal Code §245.6C?
One big factor is what your involvement might have been, what you did and whether any serious injury resulted from the hazing. Also, if you're a good student and never had any other disciplinary actions, obviously that would be something that would be important. We would get character letters from your friends, your family, your teachers. If you're an athlete, we would also get something from your coach – anybody who knows you. So, these fraternity and sorority hazing-related incidents are very serious, and you want to get ahead of them very quickly and meet with your attorney. I have the clients come in, give me all the information and really give me a fair detailed account. Make it accurate; don't put a spin on things, this way I can really help you figure out what defenses might be available, what strategy we want moving forward.
The key in these hazing cases is that we really get your version of events across. The way we do that is by me getting our strategy together so that our story makes sense and we can really start doing some things. Sometimes I'm able to do even before a case is filed. So, get in here, let's sit down and go over everything so we can figure out what we can do to defend you in this hazing-related case and hopefully show that you're not involved and set things up so we can protect your record now and into the future and get you out of the criminal justice system as quickly as possible and get this hazing-related offense away from and try to avoid a Penal Code §245.6C conviction – get some lesser conviction or get a dismissal or some sort of diversionary program.
For more information on Hazing At A College Fraternity Or Sorority, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.