Bronx Hazing Lawyer

Hazing has been a problem with college and high school campuses for as long as anyone can remember. Recently, some high-profile injuries and deaths have brought this problem into the public spotlight. As a result, many states including New York have created statutes that specifically outlaw hazing.

These are serious charges that can result in jail time upon conviction. In addition, many other criminal charges can accompany hazing such as assault or harassment. This can combine to leave defendants charged with hazing scared and confused.

A Bronx hazing lawyer could help you understand the laws that apply, hear your side of the story, and develop a defense strategy designed to protect your rights and freedoms in court. If you are facing these charges, contact an experienced criminal attorney who could advocate for you.

Laws Concerning Hazing in the Bronx

Hazing is a unique section of the Penal Law. These statutes outlaw not only activity that causes an injury, but also any action that is likely to result in an injury. There are two levels of hazing charges in the Bronx. The core version is known as hazing in the second degree. Contained in New York Penal Law §120.17, this statute says that it is a violation-level offense to intentionally or recklessly engage in conduct that is likely to result in physical injury. This conduct must involve another person’s initiation into a group. As a result, this typically applies to members of fraternities or sororities and may affect schools such as:

  • New York University
  • Fordham University
  • SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Farmingdale
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Barnard College
  • Columbia University
  • Pratt Institute
  • Pace University
  • King’s College
  • Cornell University
  • Yeshiva University

It is important to note that a physical injury does not need to occur. However, if an injury does occur, the charge is upgraded to hazing in the first degree under New York Penal Law §120.16 which is considered a class A misdemeanor. A violation-level offense is punishable by a maximum of 15 days in jail and fines. Fortunately, this is not a criminal offense.

Far more serious are allegations rise to the level of misdemeanors. A class A misdemeanor such as hazing in the first degree is a crime. It may be punished by as much as one year in jail or three years of probation. This is to say nothing of the potential educational consequences if hazing occurs on a school campus. A Bronx hazing lawyer could help fight back against these charges and protect the accused’s future.

Charges that May Accompany Hazing

While it is possible for police to charge a defendant only with hazing, other charges may also apply to the facts of the case. For example, an initiation ceremony that involves physical violence may constitute assault.

In addition, any hazing behavior that affects the mental health of the other individual could give rise to harassment or stalking charges. In general, how deeply affected the other person is by the behavior determines how police may treat the incident. In situations where a defendant is facing multiple charges, convictions can result in lengthy prison terms. Therefore, it is important for students at Rutgers University, City University of New York, Seton Hall University, Marymount Manhattan College, The New School, Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College, Hofstra University, and St. John’s University to prepare a vigorous defense to fight these allegations.

A Bronx Hazing Attorney Could Fight for the Accused

Allegations of hazing may seem like a mere annoyance in a person’s life. However, a conviction for even the most minor of these charges can ruin your educational prospects and result in a lengthy jail sentence.

Hazing is any activity used as part of membership in a group that is likely to result in physical injury. This can include physical attacks but can also involve over-consumption of alcohol. Even if the alleged victim is not harmed, charges may still follow. A Bronx hazing lawyer could help defendants who are facing these charges. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.