Rockland County Hazing Lawyer

Being charged with hazing can be both emotionally and mentally stressful. Although hazing charges are traditionally brought against students in colleges or universities, New York hazing laws can apply to adults as well. As a result, any individual accused of hazing needs a competent lawyer to help them defend their rights.

If you need legal assistance with hazing charges, a Rockland County hazing lawyer is available to assist. A seasoned student defense attorney is familiar with different kinds of hazing cases and could research your case to determine the best legal approach. They know how to represent your interests, both in court and out of court.

Information on Hazing Charges and Related Laws

Hazing generally occurs in situations where a person joins or is inducted into, an organization, such as a fraternity, sorority, social club, or other organization. Often this is at college campuses such as St. Thomas Aquinas College, Pace University, SUNY Purchase, and Iona College. In many cases, hazing consists of encouraging that person to engage in a variety of potentially embarrassing or unusual activities as a means to demonstrate their commitment to the organization. These activities can range from harmless pranks to possibly life-threatening stunts.

There are two degrees of hazing charges in New York. Both require conduct in the course of an individual’s initiation or affiliation with an organization. Second-degree hazing is the least serious and occurs, according to New York Penal Law §120.17, when a person intentionally or recklessly creates a “substantial risk of physical injury” to another person.

Second-degree hazing is a violation, which triggers a potential fine of up to $250, according to New York Penal Law §80.05. However, violations may also result in a short jail sentence. Under New York Penal Law §70.15, courts may impose a sentence of up to 15 days in jail for a violation.

First-Degree Offenses

First-degree hazing is more serious and is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, according to New York Penal Law §120.16. Under that statute, first-degree hazing occurs when a person creates a substantial risk of physical injury to another and actually causes such an injury.

For example, first-degree hazing may occur if a person physically hits or strikes another individual during an initiation. If these actions cause some kind of physical injury, such as broken bones, someone could be charged with first-degree hazing.

Under New York Penal Law §70.15, an individual convicted of first-degree hazing could spend up to a year in jail. As a result, anyone facing these allegations should contact a Rockland County hazing lawyer for an immediate consultation.

Possible Defenses to Charges in Rockland County

To be convicted of hazing, a person must intentionally or recklessly create a substantial risk of physical injury. As a result, someone may be able to defend themselves by claiming that their actions were unintentional or did not contribute to a substantial risk of physical injury. For example, if a person accidentally placed another individual in a potentially risky situation, they would not be hazing.                                              

A person could also assert that there was no substantial risk of physical injury and that the alleged harmed individual was in no serious danger. Even if the alleged harmed person sustained an actual injury, that injury could have resulted from accidental or unforeseeable causes. Those who need assistance planning their defense against hazing charges should contact a Rockland County hazing lawyer for further information.

Reach Out to a Rockland County Hazing Attorney

If you have been accused of hazing in New York, you may benefit from consulting with a Rockland County hazing lawyer about your case. An experienced attorney could review your situation and see how they could best help you defend your rights.

A lawyer is familiar with New York hazing laws and could analyze your case to determine the best approach. They could then work with you to implement a defense plan that gives you the best chance of success, whether in court or out of court. To start fighting back call today for a consultation.