UNC Honor Court Charges
At UNC, when an incident occurs that affects the university community, the student attorney general may elect to charge you for a violation of the honor code under the provisions found in The Instrument. This can place your continued academic progress in substantial peril. Attorney Hastings has experience successfully navigating clients through all stages of the honor court process. He recently graduated from the school, and his mother, Anne Hastings, is a professor at the same. He knows how the most important thing is staying enrolled at the school you worked so hard to attend. A charge should not derail the dreams you're on the cusp of realizing. Please call our office so that he can discuss your options with you.
1. student-attorney pretrial conferences
Attorney Hastings has attended tons of pretrial conferences with students to ease the immense stress of the situation and protect student rights. It's at these conferences that the attorney general's staff will inform you of the charges and what to expect moving forward. They often attempt to get you to explain your side of the story to the potential detriment of related criminal charges. It's important to remember that the right to remain silent is one that the student can waive at these conferences where the attorney general's staff is under no ethical obligation to keep information private.
2. the hearings phase
Once charged, there will be three possible hearing options depending on what the attorney general's office offers. Check out information on the different types of hearings on the honor court's website. Attorney Hastings has experience helping clients prepare for all three, and can navigate students through the process to ensure the greatest possibility that the process will not violate their rights while keeping the focus on the ultimate goal: to keep you in school.
3. appealing the court's decision
It's not the end of the world when a student receives a guilty determination from the honor court. There are options for appeal that Attorney Hastings has experience with; he has helped several clients successfully appeal an initial ruling the honor court administers. From a secondary hearing at the UHB level to a Chancellor's review, Attorney Hastings has not shied away from serious issues students have faced with respect to the just implementation of the honor code under The Instrument. For quick reference please click here for the appeals petition sheet.
4. constitutional rights
It's important throughout the process to keep your constitutional rights in mind. The attorney general's office does a wonderful job to seek a fair resolution in line with the spirit of the honor code and The Instrument. However, the unavoidable truth of the situation is that they are students just like you are. It takes years of legal study to sufficiently understand the issues surrounding many rights also found in The Instrument that parallel constitutional rights, like the 5th Amendment's protection against self-incrimination. Silence cannot be an indication of guilt - it otherwise compels testimony that may not be reliable in the first place. Attorney Hastings can help ensure these constitutional rights are met during the honor court process. Please contact our office to talk more about how we can help.
5. unbundled legal services
Hastings Law & Counsel is happy to provide unbundled legal services to students charged with honor code violations. For a reduced rate, Attorney Hastings can draft petition responses, appeal petition and briefs, and responses to the board's ultimate decisions. The rest of the requirements from the Honor Court will be up to the client and the student defense attorney the Honor Court provides. This can be an excellent way to receive quality legal advice without the full cost of representation.