Student Conduct Hearings

Helping you protect one of your biggest investments

Matthew Smith assists students facing student conduct code disciplinary hearings at the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Stetson Law School, New College, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College, Hillsborough Community College, and other colleges and universities in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Student Codes of Conduct are found at all Florida colleges and universities. Students typically agree to be bound by the terms of these Codes as a condition for their attendance at the school. These codes grant the school administration broad authority to discipline students for conduct violating criminal laws or the Student Code of Conduct, whether it occurs on or off campus. The due process provided to the student after the school discovers potential misconduct varies slightly at each school, but it typically involves some type of informal, initial review by the administration resulting in dismissal of the allegation or a recommendation for further action. In some extreme situations, a student will be placed on a provisional suspension for the duration of the administrative process. If sanctions are recommended, students typically have the option to accept responsibility or to request a formal hearing.  Formal hearings take place before a hearing officer or a board comprised of faculty/staff members (and sometimes student members). The formal hearing will determine whether the misconduct occurred and if so, the formal hearing will impose sanctions on the student. These disciplinary sanctions can range from a warning letter, conduct probation, suspension, all the way to expulsion from the school. Students typically have the right to appeal to the Dean in certain situations and are also able to appeal to actual civil circuit courts. Setting the conditions for success at the beginning stages of the proceedings increases the likelihood of prevailing at the formal hearing or on appeal. Matthew Smith is available to assist students at all stages of the University Conduct Board process.

Examples of conduct that can lead to Student Conduct Code Disciplinary Hearings include:

  • On or off campus alcohol infractions
  • On or off campus DUI
  • On or off campus sexual harassment or sexual misconduct allegations
  • Academic integrity violations like plagiarism or cheating

An adverse decision in Student Conduct Code Hearings can have long term ramifications. The school may place certain sanctions on your permanent school transcripts which might affect your ability to gain admission at transfer schools or graduate programs or your ability to get a job. Student Conduct Code Hearings can also complicate matters related to pending criminal or civil litigation occurring concurrently. Statements and representations made before the student hearing can be used in follow on litigation in the criminal or civil courts. Matthew Smith is available to assist you in helping you navigate these complex, interwoven issues to help steer you towards the optimal result.