Why Alleged Code of Conduct Violations Related to Computer Crimes or Cybercrimes Should Be Taken Seriously
Facing an alleged violation of a school’s code of conduct regulation about computer crimes or cybercrimes can be quite daunting. You may not even have known that your actions violated the code in question. When you matriculate at a college or university, you will most likely receive a student handbook or a code of conduct. By accepting this document, you implicitly agree to abide by its regulations and terms – whether you take the time to go through it or not.
Although the term “code of conduct” might conjure up images of academic honesty policies or alcohol-related guidelines, these codes usually cover far more territory. Like local, state, and federal laws, they outline what is allowed and what is forbidden. Colleges and universities create their respective codes of conduct as ways to detail behavior standards, define procedures for dealing with violations, and highlight penalties when violations occur.
Student codes of conduct are different from laws. However, alleged cybercrime violations should be taken seriously as they may reflect on your permanent record and significantly impact your college life and professional prospects.
Examples of Computer Crime or Cybercrime Violations That Can Run Afoul of Your Institution’s Code
Computer crimes are also known as cybercrimes and encompass various behaviors. In all likelihood, the phrasing in your university or college handbook usually goes something like “may include but is not limited to.” Here’s a brief rundown showing examples so that you can get an idea of what might qualify as such violations:
Hacking: Hacking is perhaps one idea people first associate with cybercrimes. TV shows like CSI: Cyber and Arrow present audiences with depictions around hacking resembling something outlandish or exciting. In reality though most often than not the type of cybercrime schools address involves less interesting aspects unless it relates to email access or test / assignment access.
Cyberstalking: Often cyberstalking intersects with other potential code of conduct violations such as Title IX violations or college sexual misconduct violations.
Visiting unauthorized websites: When you access your school’s network, you agree to its terms of service. We’re all so used to accepting these terms without looking through them individually, given the plethora of apps we use on our smartphones and devices. However, suppose you access a website that violates the terms of service. In that case, the school may consider it a violation.
Different Standards at Your Institution of Higher Learning
One thing to remember regarding an alleged computer crime code of conduct violation is that proceedings at your institution will most likely not have the same protections afforded by legal procedures. What does this mean? for example – You do not possess similar rights as when government charges you with offences. This is one vital reason why it is crucial to have an attorney-advisor who can advocate for you.
Disciplinary hearings usually follow a standard of proof known as ‘preponderance of evidence’ rather than ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’ The ‘preponderance of evidence’ means it is more than 50% probable that alleged behavior took place; however, the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard offers higher protection for your rights because it is much harder to prove guilt.
In addition to a lower standard, most institutions often have less strigent regulations about allowing evidence into disciplinary hearing proceedings. For instance, hearsay (information heard second-hand) which would not be admissible in criminal cases can be accepted in student disciplinary hearings – allowing unreliable information to contribute significantly to deciding whether or not alleged behaviour happened.
Penalties Linked To Computer Crime Violations
Different institutions have varying consequences associated with computer crime violations. Some penalties are quite mild while others are severefor instance, formal reprimands or adjustments made to your grades if cheating was involved; suspension from extracurricular activities; loss of scholarships or financial aid; housing loss; and expulsion.
Each college or university has its unique set of penalties, so it’s best to check out your school’s code of conduct to see what sanctions might apply. If you’re dealing with an ongoing allegation, poring over the specific parameters in your handbook (though online perhaps) can be helpful. The code of conduct outlines the proceedings, the penalties that your institution might consider, and the various steps involved in the process.
The Necessity for Having an Expert Attorney-Advisor on Your Side
With a lot at stake, finding an attorney-advisor who understands how to navigate the distinct procedures at your institution is crucial. An experienced attorney-advisor can help protect your future and ensure a favorable outcome for you. Todd Spodek and The Spodek Law Group have extensive experience helping students and their families across America handle similar code of conduct cases. Speak with Todd Spodek today by calling 888.535.3686 or through his website to learn more about how he can assist you.