CU Students and Domestic Violence: University Disciplinary Proceedings

Domestic violence charges are not reserved only for married or serious couples.

DV charges are usually filed by police in any situation in which the alleged victim is a girlfriend or boyfriend of the arrested person, according the report of either party. Sometimes domestic violence charges are filed if there is a romantic or physical relationship of any kind, even if the people involved do not consider themselves an exclusive couple.

 

If you are a CU Student and are ticketed or arrested by a police officer who knows your CU Student status, a report of the allegations against you will be forwarded to the University. The University of Colorado at Boulder will use this report to investigate whether you have violated a CU Code of Conduct rule. If the University believes that you have violated the CU Code of Conduct, you will receive a letter in the mail instructing you to appear at a disciplinary hearing. The University takes domestic violence allegations very seriously. The simple fact that you are criminally charged with a DV case will make your Code of Conduct hearing one of the more serious ones in the CU disciplinary system.

 

Nancy Salomone has represented many students charged with a domestic violence case in the Boulder criminal courts and simultaneously facing the University disciplinary process. The University website contains some questions and answers about student disciplinary procedures at its Student Conduct Website: http://www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/studentconduct/faq/index.html


Here are some additional questions and answers that I often get from my CU Student Clients:

 

How do I know whether the police officer who arrested me will forward the police report to CU?

If the campus police (CUPD) officers were the reporting agency, it is virtually certain that reports from your incident will go to the University. Reports taken by Boulder Police generally go to the University as well, particularly if your citation notes that your occupation is “CU Student”. Cases that are investigated by the Boulder Sheriff Department or other Denver metro area law enforcement entities are less likely to result in University discipline cases. It can be particularly difficult to know for sure if a CU Student Conduct action will result from your case because the timeline for the commencement of the discipline process is difficult to predict and can vary greatly depending on whether school is in or out of session at the time of the incident.


My CU Student Conduct letter specifically says I can’t be represented by an attorney during the Student Conduct process. Since this is the case, what can a lawyer do for me?

Although an attorney cannot speak for you at the Student Conduct meeting, a Boulder domestic violence lawyer experienced with the CU disciplinary process can help you in two ways. First, I can help you prepare for the CU Student Conduct hearing. In many cases, this means helping you present yourself in the best way possible by taking some actions before the meeting to demonstrate what you have learned from the experience without the necessity of formal University sanctions. In other cases, particularly those in which our review of the file demonstrates that the student did not violate the CU Conduct Code as alleged, I can help you construct your statement at the Student Conduct hearing to be as persuasive as possible. Although I am not allowed to replace direct interaction between you and the Student Conduct Officer, I can actively coach as you speak for yourself to make sure that all the relevant information comes across clearly.

 

If you are a CU Student facing a domestic violence charge, any retainer fee that I quote you will include as much assistance as you need on your Student Conduct Hearing.

 

Will the outcome of the CU Student Conduct process be the same as, or be influenced by, the outcome of my case in court?

Not directly. Many students are surprised to hear that a criminal case can be dismissed in court but still result in a CU disciplinary sanction, and vice versa. This is because the CU Code of Conduct and the Colorado criminal law do not always overlap, and because the rules of evidence and procedure that protect you in Colorado criminal courts do not apply to your Student Conduct hearing. However, in cases where sanctions such as alcohol treatment or community service are imposed by both the criminal court and the University, I can assist you in finding programs that will allow both the court’s order and the school’s order to be satisfied by the same activity.
 

 
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