Hazing Laws in Virginia
Dedicated Virginia Beach Juvenile Crimes Lawyer - (757) 267-4949
Good-natured teasing is a right-of-passage that can devolve into dangerous pranks known as hazing. Many people are curious if hazing is a crime, or if hazing is illegal. In the US, 44 out of 50 states have passed anti-hazing laws. In Virginia, there are laws against hazing at any school, college, university, or other institution. Minors may be involved in a hazing incident for a number of reasons, including peer pressure, but there can be serious consequences for participation. If your child is accused of participating in hazing activities, you should contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller to speak with a Virginia Beach hazing lawyer. Our attorneys have the experience you need to help you fight your case and avoid or reduce the hazing punishment.
Virginia Hazing Law
What is hazing? The legal definition of hazing is the intentional or reckless endangerment of the health or safety of a student or group of students for the purpose of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with a club, organization, association, fraternity, sorority, or student body, regardless of the victim’s voluntary involvement. The Code of Virginia addresses hazing in Section 18.2-56.
The law can be summarized as:
- It is illegal to haze a student at any college, university, or school in a way that causes bodily harm.
- Anyone found to be guilty of hazing is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless the nature of the injury would constitute a felony conviction.
- A person who was injured by hazing activity can bring a civil lawsuit of any of the guilty persons.
- The presiding official of any school receiving state funding must expel any student found to be guilty of hazing. The official shall also provide the name of the student to the attorney for the Commonwealth.
Penalties for Hazing Convictions in Virginia
The consequences for a hazing can be very serious for minors. The legal penalties can be heavy, but a conviction can have lasting effects on your child’s life. The punishment for hazing can vary depending on each case and the level of involvement of each individual.
The penalties of a hazing Class 1 misdemeanor conviction can include:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Up to $2,500 in fines
In addition to the legal penalties, your child may also experience social and professional repercussions. If your child spends time in jail, they may have a difficult time resuming their education or career path. Because hazing is against the law, hazing convictions also may show up on a background check, which can further interfere with your child’s educational, professional or occupational, and housing opportunities.
In Virginia, criminal convictions are not eligible for expungement. Juvenile records are not available to the public, but they can be accessed by law enforcement. These permanent records may be used against your child if they are facing charges in the future.
Contact the Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller - (757) 267-4949
Your child’s charges should be handled appropriately for their age, which is why our Virginia Beach juvenile defense lawyer will fight to prevent your child from being tried as an adult. We understand how stressful this time can be, and we are here to support your family. Whether it is fraternity hazing, college hazing, or high school hazing, our hazing lawyer is here to help.
Attorney Dan Miller has more than 20 years of experience handling juvenile criminal charges and is familiar with the juvenile courts throughout Southeast Virginia. Our team offers you the driven, dedicated, and knowledgeable criminal defense that your child deserves. Learn how our Virginia Beach attorneys can help your family and protect your child’s future. If you need lawyers for minors or adults, give our criminal defense law firm a call.
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