New Criminal Charges Not the Only Sanctions You Are Facing
As a student at the University of Delaware, you must also realize that in addition to the penalties previously listed, you may also be facing sanctions from the University of Delaware for violating its Code of Conduct for committing any criminal offense. Such sanctions are based on an "offense" system and the sanctions include the following: 1st offense — Disciplinary probation for one year, alcohol awareness education or referral to a substance abuse counselor, a $250.00 fine, and parental notification; 2nd offense — Deferred suspension from the University for one year, substance abuse referral, a $400.00 fine, and parental notification; 3rd offense — suspension from the University for one year, successful completion of a substance abuse treatment program, a $500.00 fine, and parental notification. Please note that these sanctions reflect the minimum sanctions and the University may impose additional or different sanctions than these, based on the severity of the offense at the discretion of the Hearing Officer, Director of Judicial Affairs or his/her designee. For example, the U. of D. may impose more than one strike against you for one offense based on the severity of the offense (e.g., your BAC was .16 or more, your violation is a violation of the alcohol policy, or disruptive conduct.)
If you were arrested by University of Delaware Police, the Office of Judicial Affairs will likely start proceedings against you immediately. If you were arrested by the Newark Police, the Office of Judicial Affairs will not start proceedings against you until they are notified by Alderman's Court #40 that you were convicted, or entered Probation Before Judgment in that Court. If you were not arrested by University of Delaware police and if your case is being heard in a court other than Alderman's Court #40, the Office of Judicial Affairs may likely never find out about this case; therefore, you may likely be facing no sanctions from them at all!
Probation Before Judgment
Many University of Delaware students are "first time offenders", having never been in trouble before with the law. Because of this, you may be eligible for Probation Before Judgment ["P.B.J."] pursuant to Newark Municipal Code Section 2-35.1. If you are offered P.B.J. for one (or more) of the offenses for which you are charged, the Court will accept your "guilty" or "no contest" plea and will then stay the entry of a conviction against you, defer further proceedings, and place you on a low level probation for a period of time. The terms and conditions of any P.B.J. shall include the following requirements: (a) you shall provide the Court with your current address; (b) you shall promptly provide the Court with written notice of any change of address; (c) you shall appear if summoned to any hearing concerning your P.B.J. status; (d) you give written consent to the Court permitting any hearing or proceeding to occur in your absence if (1) timely notice of the hearing or proceeding is sent or delivered to the address provided by you, and (2) you fail to appear at said proceeding; and (e) any other terms or conditions that the Court deems to be appropriate. Upon a violation of a term or condition of the Court's P.B.J. order, the Court may enter judgment of conviction against you and proceed with disposition of you as if you had not been placed on P.B.J..
If you are given Probation Before Judgment, this is generally an unsupervised probation that may usually range from 90 days to 6 months, with a maximum term of 1 year. At the end of the probation term, the Court will simply run your criminal record to make sure you incurred no new charges. Upon confirming that you have complied with all terms imposed upon you, the Court will then discharge your probation and dismiss your case. At that time, if you have never incurred any other criminal convictions, you may want to seek to have your criminal arrest record expunged in Superior Court pursuant to 11 Del.C. 4372. If you fail to have your criminal record expunged, the arrest will always be on your criminal record until you die.
Withdrawal — Felony Cases
In some cases, generally when felony cases are filed, the University may invoke a "Withdrawal" while the charges are pending. Pursuant to the Student Guide to University Policies, withdrawal may be mandated were the crime involves an act of violence, the sale/manufacture/delivery of drugs, or any other conduct that is egregiously offensive to the University's mission.
Any student charged in any jurisdiction may be immediately withdrawn from the University, according to the following procedures:
a. The student shall have the right to a hearing within 3 calendar days from the imposition of the withdrawal at which time the accused shall be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate that withdrawal is inappropriate because (1) the student is not charged with a felony, (2) the alleged crime, even if proven, has no bearing on any legitimate University interest, or (3) withdrawal is manifestly unjust.
b. The Withdrawal shall be noted on the student's transcript, however, no disciplinary record or sanction shall be created or imposed solely on the basis of the withdrawal.
c. The Withdrawal shall remain in effect until the earlier of: (1) the dismissal of all pending felony charges against the student; (2) the acquittal of the student on all pending felony charges; (3) a full adjudication by the Student Judicial System, if appropriate, of all charges and complaints of the Code of Conduct relating to the conduct from which the felony charges derive.
The Withdrawal requirement is a supplemental to the Emergency Suspension procedures and in no way limits any rights of the University to impose any additional or different disciplinary sanctions.
When the Withdrawals is in effect, you generally will be banned from entering all University of Delaware buildings and from entering any grounds and/or facilities owned and/or maintained by the University of Delaware pending the conclusion of your criminal matter. If you are found to violate the terms of the required withdrawal, you may be arrested and charged accordingly. You will also likely face additional judicial sanctions should you fail to comply.
Expunging Your Criminal Record
Pursuant to 11 Del.C. 4372, a person may file a Petition to Expunge their criminal record in the Superior Court if you have been charged with the commission of a crime and (1) you are acquitted, or (2) a nolle prosse is taken, or the charge is otherwise dismissed. Consequently, once your case is dismissed in Alderman's Court #40 after successfully completing a period of Probation Before Judgment, you may also file a Petition to Expunge your criminal record.
In your petition, you must proffer that "you have no prior criminal record" and that "the continued existence and possible dissemination of information relating to your arrest causes, or may cause, circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice to you." Consequently, if you have any other criminal record (besides the charges that you would like to be expunged), this Petition will not likely be granted.
It is very important to note that if you fail to file the Petition to Expunge your criminal record, the arrest will always be on your criminal record and any potential future employers will see this arrest upon obtaining a copy of your criminal record.
Office of Judicial Affairs
If you decide to retain me to represent you for your charge pending in Alderman's Court #40, I will do everything in my power to obtain a just result that you are pleased with. Unfortunately, I will not be able to assist you with the disciplinary process pending against you before the University of Delaware Office of Judicial Affairs. They simply do not allow private attorneys to get involved in that process.
"Once the school becomes aware of a violation of the Student Guide to University Polices, you will be directed to appear at the Office of Student Conduct for a "pre-hearing". Pre-hearings are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon, and 1:00 - 4:00 PM. Pre-hearing appointments take place on a first come, first served basis. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that private attorneys are not permitted to assist you throughout this process.
During the pre-hearing, you will be given a chance to discuss the incident further, learn of behavior expectations for the University community and reflect on how to avoid similar situations in the future. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and review relevant information available in your disciplinary file. You will also learn of the recommended sanctions as well as the options available for resolving the case. You will also have the opportunity to accept or deny responsibility and accept or reject the sanctions.
If you accept responsibility and accept the sanctions in the pre-hearing, the case will be closed. If you accept responsibility and reject the sanctions, you will have the opportunity to request lowered sanctions by submitting a "Request for Reconsideration of Sanctions". If you deny responsibility and reject the sanctions, the case will be forwarded to an Administrative Hearing. Your charge(s) will be heard by an individual member of the University's staff, serving as an Administrative Hearing Officer. You will be given a structured opportunity to hear the reporting party's information and to respond to all the information and charges. You will have the right to present your own information and present direct witnesses. You will also have the right to not answer questions or not appear. The Hearing Officer will make and communicate a decision regarding your situation several days following the administrative hearing. You will have the right to appeal this outcome.
Failure to attend the pre-hearing meeting within the specified time will be considered an acceptance of responsibility for violating the policy(s) listed and the referral will be handled administratively. A decision of responsible will be rendered in your absence and sanctions will be applied without your input. In according with the administrative process of the Office of Student Conduct, a $100.00 processing fee (charged to your student account) and/or a letter sent to your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) informing them you have been found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct may also occur.
For more information about your rights as a charged student within the Undergraduate Student Conduct System, please refer to the UD Code of Student Conduct link below. Additional information may also be found on the Office of Student Conduct website link below."
- Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan Protocol
- U. of D. Student Code of Conduct
- U. of D. Disciplinary Sanctions
- U. of D. Student Judicial System
- U. of D. Office of Judicial Affairs FAQ
- A Guide For Students Who Violate Local Laws
- Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
- Student Conduct Advisors
- Office of Student Conduct