At many colleges, universities, and post-secondary institutions, hazing is a rite of passage that allows one to cross over into membership in the “Greek” community. “Greek” refers to the various fraternities and sororities designated by Greek letters that promote camaraderie and philanthropic activity among students and alumni. Although hazing may be a tradition for some organizations, many actions that are considered hazing may also be considered criminal. Those who commit such acts, if caught, may face criminal prosecution and punishment.
Over the years, fatal sorority and fraternity hazing incidents have gained mass media coverage and attention. Hazing criminal accusations can have very negative consequences on a person’s life if he or she is found guilty of committing those acts.
Many times, those who are found responsible for hazing face criminal charges and disciplinary actions from the school or university for violating the student conduct code. Civil suits may also be filed against organizations and their members depending on the situation.
Hazing under Fla. Stat. § 1006.63
Florida Section 1006.63 defines hazing as an action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution.
Common forms of hazing may include but are not limited to the following:
- pressure or coercing the student to violate state or federal laws;
- physical and mental manipulation;
- pressure to violate school code of conduct, or any school rules;
- whipping, beating, drugging, branding;
- acts and activities that may lead to one being sleep deprived;
- conduct that could result in extreme harassment; and
- forced consumption of anything.
Hazing Criminal Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, FL
If you have been accused of fraternity or sorority, hazing in Leon County, Florida it is important you speak with the experience criminal defense lawyers at Pumphrey Law as soon as possible. Our lawyers have experience representing students who attend Florida State University, Florida A & M, The University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Florida International University, the University of Miami, and other Florida schools.
It is our primary goal to protect the rights of those students who are facing criminal accusations throughout the entire process. We understand that students may face a lot of pressure from faculty and others to speak about the incident, but it is wise to speak with our Florida criminal defense attorneys before saying anything about the alleged hazing incident(s).
Penalties for Hazing
Penalties for hazing vary from case to case depending on the severity of the accusations. Some penalties may include but are not limited to the following:
- being charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime depending on the circumstances of each case;
- being subject to academic sanctions like expulsion and suspension, loss of scholarships or financial aid; and
- being subject to a four (4) hour hazing education course
Consent is not a Valid Defense in Florida
If you have been criminally charged with hazing, it is not a legal defense to say that the victim consented to such hazing acts. Many times individuals want to join sorority and fraternities so bad that they consent to the abuse; however, Florida law does not recognize such consent.
If your membership in a sorority or fraternity at FAMU, USF, or a different Florida college or university is at risk due to hazing allegations, or you are facing criminal or student code of conduct violations in Florida it is important to contact the Pumphrey Law Firm at (850) 681-7777.
Find an Attorney for Sorority or Fraternity Hazing in Leon County, FL
If your fraternity, sorority, or an individual member of such organizations is facing criminal charges for hazing, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not talk to the police until you have an attorney present.
Being charged with hazing in Florida can have serious consequences, not only on your record but on your academic standing and ability to complete your education as well. Our attorneys provide well guided criminal defense for college students.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law have years of experience representing clients at Florida State University in Tallahassee, the University of Florida in Gainesville, the University of South Florida in Tampa, and other Florida Schools.
Call (850) 681-7777 for more information about how one of our lawyers can help you.
This Article Was Last Updated on 4/25/2017.