University of Colorado Disciplinary Proceedings
In addition to facing criminal charges in court, a University of Colorado student may become involved with an additional formal proceeding with the school's Office of Judicial Affairs (OJA). Typically, a referral from a law enforcement agency that has filed criminal charges will trigger OJA to initiate a proceeding. There are a number of law enforcement agencies in Boulder County including the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the Boulder Police Department, the University of Colorado Police Department (UCPD), and other of the county's municipal police departments. Referrals to OJA can be made by any of these agencies, and are not limited to charges filed by the UCPD alone. OJA referrals arise from incidents that occur both on and off-campus, although the former will usually be UCPD cases. Not all on-campus or off-campus crimes become OJA referrals, and there does not appear to be a uniform policy or system amongst Boulder County law enforcement agencies concerning OJA referrals.
After a case has been referred, OJA will send the student a Pre-Hearing or Pre-Conference letter, and will request that the student schedule a hearing within a certain specified period of time. The meeting will be attended by an OJA hearing officer, the student, and the student’s legal advisor (the student’s attorney) if one has been engaged. At this meeting, and at subsequent OJA proceedings, the legal advisor may be permitted to make statements and to ask questions of the student to ensure that all relevant information has been presented. At the meeting, the student, not the legal advisor, is expected to choose the form of further proceedings. Of the three choices, the first is to admit responsibility for the specific act(s) to the hearing officer. The hearing officer would then have a dialogue with the student in order to make a determination regarding sanctions (punishment or terms and conditions). The second choice is to deny responsibility and to present the case to the hearing officer for a determination of responsibility and, if appropriate, sanctions. Lastly, the student can request a hearing before the OJA Board, which is comprised of at least a chairperson, a University staff member, and a CU student. The student is also advised of other things, including procedures for appeal.
If the student admits responsibility, sanctions imposed may include educational sanctions, a warning/written reprimand, residence hall reassignment or termination, probation, probation in abeyance, suspension, suspension in abeyance, or expulsion/exclusion. The sanctions imposed depend on many factors, including the seriousness of the offense, whether the student has been the subject of previous disciplinary actions, as well as the presence of other potential mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
A student facing a CU disciplinary proceeding may have already been criminally charged, and therefore may have already retained a criminal defense attorney. If so, representation in a CU disciplinary proceeding may occur as a matter of course. A student without a criminal defense attorney who faces CU disciplinary proceedings should strongly consider contacting one in order to assess the utility of such representation. In many instances, the involvement of the right criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of not just the criminal case, but also the student's academic future. In choosing the appropriate attorney, an important consideration should be whether he or she is also experienced in handling CU disciplinary proceedings.
Click below to read the official rules and other information from OJA:
CU Office of Judicial Affairs
CU Disciplinary Records Policy
CU Student Conduct Policies and Procedures
CU Judicial Affairs FAQs
Criminal Defense Attorney Alexander Garlin has experience in representing students in CU disciplinary proceedings, either as part of their representation for the underlying criminal charges or otherwise. Whether you contact Garlin Driscoll, LLC, or other qualified attorneys, we recommend that you do so without delay so that you can better understand your circumstances, and thereby promote informed decision making that could significantly improve the ultimate outcome of your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Garlin Driscoll, LLC, welcome your inquiry and do not charge for initial telephone, e-mail and/or office consultations.