On behalf of The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith
6 Preparing Criminal Defense for Hazing Accusations
Hazing, abuse that a student endures in an attempt to be accepted into an organization such as a fraternity, is illegal. Like any other crime, in order for a hazing conviction to be obtained, there must be sufficient evidence to prove that the crime actually occurred. Six Missouri University students are likely now each focused on preparing a criminal defense against hazing accusations.
Supposedly, the investigation began when other students called police officers to a residence. These students allegedly claimed that they thought someone was being assaulted, but the details of their reports are not clear. Somehow, the police put together that the six accused individuals — who are also members of the same fraternity — were playing a version of hide and seek with what the officer assumed were pledges.
The six individuals allegedly chased two pledges, and the individuals then purportedly put the pledges in a van. The officer claims that one of the pledge’s hands were tied behind his back. However, neither pledge was injured throughout the purported game. Additionally, when the officer asked if they wanted to press charges, neither pledge wished to do so. All six individuals were arrested on suspicion of hazing, but they were released on the issuance of a summons.
While hazing is illegal in Missouri, typically when the persons who were allegedly being hazed were not injured, the criminal charges are usually misdemeanors. The six individuals will be faced with a number of options in their criminal defense, and it is their legal right to make their own choices based on what they feel will be most likely to produce the most favorable result. Additionally, each person will have the right to contest the charges and try to have the charges dropped from the court record entirely.
Source: ksdk.com, “6 MU fraternity members arrested over hazing“, Dec. 20, 2014