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Academic Dishonesty /Campus Rules

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Student Legal Services Series 3: Academic Dishonesty /Campus Rules

Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Athens Technical College, and Piedmont College students back to Athens.

Continuing in our series of blogs intended to help new and returning students in Athens understand and navigate the legal system, today’s blog will focus on Academic Dishonesty and Awareness of Campus Rules. If you have questions about DUI laws or other local and state laws regarding alcohol consumption, you can access Student Legal Services Series: DUI here and Series 2: Alcohol Laws and Local Ordinances here.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future. Kim Stephens defends students every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting students’ education and lives beyond college. He is a nationally ranked defense attorney and has successfully litigated hundreds of cases.

 

Academic Concerns:

While attending school in Athens, it is important to adhere to your college’s policies on academic honesty, appropriate behavior, and campus safety. Defense attorney, Kim Stephens, often represents students involved in student conduct hearings at UGA, and based on his years of experience with the student judiciary process, he advises incoming freshman and returning students to be particularly aware of the following:

  1. Any knife having a blade over two inches—even a small fishing knife—is considered a weapon per state law and University of Georgia regulations and is not allowed on campus, including in the dorms. If you are found to be in possession of such a knife, you will likely be charged with a felony.
  2. Plagiarism (using someone else’s ideas or words without proper citations) is considered a serious offense at the college level and can result in suspension or expulsion.
  3. Sharing test information or prior tests is considered academic dishonesty and can result in suspension or expulsion.
  4. Online quizzes and tests are frequently monitored via webcam or other tracking devices and any attempt to use outside help can result in charges of academic dishonesty.

2016 Update: Defense attorney Kim Stephens has represented several students recently who were accused of academic dishonesty based solely on camera footage taken during online tests. The footage showed students simply turning their head frequently to the side while taking the test/quiz, from which the instructor deduced that the student was consulting either another electronic device or a person for help and consequently brought charges against them.  Pay close attention to the rules for online assignments and do not put yourself in a position where your academic career is at risk.

  1. If you are charged with any crime while attending college, and the college is made aware of the charge, they will hold a conduct hearing. The student judiciary has the power to suspend or expel you from the university EVEN IF the charges are dismissed or disproved.

Kim Stephens is familiar with the inner workings of the University of Georgia’s student judiciary and provides students with professional advice, often enabling them to continue their studies at the university even after facing charges by the student judiciary. In 2013, Kim Stephens successfully filed a petition for a temporary protective order and injunction which prevented a University of Georgia student charged with a serious crime (which was later disproven and dismissed) from being expelled.  It is critical that students who find themselves facing a student conduct hearing seek professional advice to protect their future.

 

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933

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Student Legal Services Series 2: Alcohol Laws and Criminal Defense

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Student Legal Services Series 2:

Alcohol Laws and Local Ordinances

 

Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Athens Technical College, and Piedmont College students back to Athens.

Continuing in our series of blogs intended to help new and returning students in Athens understand and navigate the legal system, today’s blog will focus on state laws and local ordinances, particularly those pertaining to the consumption of alcohol. If you missed last week’s blog on DUI laws and what to do if you’re stopped, you can access it here.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future. Kim Stephens defends students every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting students’ education and lives beyond college. He is a nationally ranked defense attorney and has successfully litigated hundreds of cases.

Alcohol Laws and Local Ordinances:

  1. Athens has an open container ordinance, meaning it is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages outside in public spaces, even just outside of some bars and restaurants. The local police enforce the open container law year round, even on football game days on and off campus.
  2. Athens has a noise ordinance and excessive noise at any residence may result in police coming to your residence and attempting to question everyone who is there. If the police show up at your home because of a noise complaint, have someone who has not been drinking and/or is over 21 years of age meet the officers at the door and, above all else, be polite, cooperate and turn the noise down, i.e. lower the decibel level.
  3. Littering violates state law and local ordinances and makes the community an uglier place. Instead of dropping cans, bottles or other trash on the ground or throwing them out the car window, pick up any trash you see and put it in the closest recycle or trash bin. You will feel good about yourself and will avoid unnecessary attention from the police.
  4. If you drink alcohol and are under the age of twenty-one, you may be charged with Underage Possession of Alcohol, i.e. MIP, even if the police don’t perform any test to determine if you have been drinking. Local police departments in Athens changed their policy of arresting first time underage drinkers and branding them as criminals last year; but, police will arrest you and take you to jail if they can charge you with another crime, i.e. obstruction, public intoxication, possession of a fake ID, etc., at the same time. The penalties and sentences in MIP cases and these other types of misdemeanor cases can be unduly harsh and burdensome and can result in you having a criminal record. Please don’t trust your friend’s expert advice just because he or she already had an MIP in Athens or somewhere else. Every case is different. You should always consult with an attorney before you go to court.
  5. If you are stopped and/or cited for MIP, local police will likely ask for or search for fake IDs and, if they find one, they will arrest you and take you to jail. In some cases, Athens and UGA police officers have charged students with felony forgery charges instead of the more appropriate misdemeanor charge of possession of a false or fictitious ID. Possession of a fake ID, even as a misdemeanor charge, can result in serious sanctions including suspension of your driver’s license.
  6. If you urinate in public you are violating both state law and local ordinances. In addition to Public Urination, the police may also charge you with Public Indecency and will definitely check to see if you’ve been drinking. If you have consumed alcohol, they may then also charge you with an MIP and/or Public Drunkenness.
  7. If you are a UGA student, the Honor Code contains specific punishment for violations of the Code that involve alcohol or drugs. Second time violations involving alcohol, even a violation as minor as an RA seeing beer in a dorm room refrigerator, can and often does result in suspension from UGA for a full year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933               s-cd s10-cd s-dui s10-dui cc-dui cc-cd readers_choice_logo_2012 rc13 Top100seal1[1]                          
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Student Legal Services Series 1: DUI

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Stephens & Brown, Athens Georgia’s premier DUI and criminal defense law firm, welcomes University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Athens Technical College, and Piedmont College students back to Athens. The fall is an exciting time in Athens, with students returning to the city, and football season just around the corner. Former Bulldog All-American and criminal defense attorney Kim Stephens encourages incoming students to study, work hard, have fun, and be careful to avoid being arrested and forever branded as a criminal.

For the next several weeks our blog will focus on educating students about local laws and ordinances and helping them avoid legal problems and academic disputes.

Remember, if you are charged with a crime or asked to meet with school administrators about alleged crimes, it is essential that you hire an attorney who can provide you with a powerful defense and protect your future.  Kim Stephens defends students every day against false or inflated accusations, winning in court, and preventing incidents from impacting students’ education and lives beyond college.

 

Student Legal Services Series 1:

DUI

  1. If you are under the age of twenty-one and drive any vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages (0.02 BAC or 1 alcoholic drink for most people), you may be charged with DUI. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid a DUI charge, your driver’s license would likely be suspended if you are charged with MIP while driving.  Don’t put yourself or others at risk.  Walk (preferably with a friend so that you won’t be a good candidate for being robbed or mugged), call a sober friend, have a designated driver, take a cab, or let Uber help you.
  2. If you are over the age of twenty-one and drive a vehicle (including bicycles, scooters, Segways, golf carts, horses, or any moving vehicle) with a blood alcohol level of .08, you will be charged with DUI in Athens. While television, radio and billboard advertisements call a DUI a $10,000.00 mistake, I know of a DUI conviction costing a person more than $200,000.00 because he lost his job, lost his company car, couldn’t find other work for over a year, almost lost his home, and suffered the more typical DUI I’ve also seen commercial drivers lose their licenses for a year or, for a second DUI permanently taking away their ability to work.  These cases demonstrate the severe impact a DUI can have whether you are a college student or a working adult.
  3. If you drive a vehicle improperly (speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.) after consuming alcohol or using drugs, you may be charged with DUI less safe even if you refuse the breath or blood test. Often police officers will request that you take “a few tests” to determine if you are impaired.  You are not required to take these field sobriety tests.  Understand that police officers use the test to gather evidence against you, not to help you.  So, in almost every circumstance, you should refuse to do field sobriety tests at the scene of your stop.

2016 Update: Recent Georgia and United States Supreme Court cases have called into question the legality of blood tests to determine blood alcohol level in DUI cases without a valid search warrant.

  1. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident after consuming alcohol or drugs, you may be charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanor reckless driving to felony vehicular homicide. A conviction for vehicular homicide almost always results in many years of prison time though Stephens & Brown has successfully kept clients out of jail in these serious cases including one client recently who caused the death of two elderly people after smoking marijuana.  Don’t take a chance of killing someone, ruining your life, and devastating the lives of family members for you and the person you might injure or kill.

 

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR ARE FACING A STUDENT JUDICIARY HEARING, CALL KIM STEPHENS TODAY FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE. 706.548.3933

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