Pittsburgh Hazing Defense Lawyer
Hazing is unlawful in Pennsylvania. It is an activity for initiating new members into fraternities, sororities, clubs, and social groups, primarily involving students and minors. It can occur on or off-campus at colleges, universities, and schools that instruct children from grades seven through 12. It consists of coercing, causing, or forcing minors to engage in behavior that could put them at risk for emotional or physical harm. It can lead to various charges depending on the nature and severity of the offense.
The crime of hazing can be charged against individuals as well as organizations that knowingly promote or facilitate its use. If you are the parent of a minor who has been charged with hazing or an adult who has been charged with organizational or institutional hazing, we recommend that you turn to Logue Law Group. Our skilled criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience in creating effective legal strategies designed to help you preserve your freedom and future.
Arrange for a free initial consultation with our Pittsburgh hazing defense attorney by contacting Logue Law Group online or at (412) 612-2210.
Pennsylvania Hazing Law
Pennsylvania’s hazing law was changed to increase its penalties after a Penn State freshman died in a hazing incident in 2017.
The law defines hazing as coercing or forcing a student or minor to do the following:
- Violate state or federal law
- Consume food, liquids, alcohol, or drugs that could result in emotional or physical harm
- Endure any type of physical, mental, or sexual brutality
- Endure any other type of action that could likely result in bodily injury
Examples of hazing can include but are not limited to:
- Forced alcohol or drug consumption and intoxication
- Water intoxication
- Partial or total nudity
- Paddling, whipping, or other forms of assault
- Name-calling and other forms of verbal abuse
- Sleep deprivation
- Being made to wear embarrassing clothing
- Being made to perform meaningless or humiliating tasks
Hazing can occur on various levels of severity, from subtle forms to various types of harassment or even violence.
Hazing can be charged in the following ways:
- As a summary offense punishable by a fine
- As a misdemeanor of the third degree when the offense resulted in or created a likelihood of bodily harm, punishable by jail time of six months to a year and a fine of up to $2,500
- As a third-degree felony as “aggravated” hazing that resulted in serious bodily harm or death, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
Those charged with organizational hazing can face fines of up to $5,000 for each instance of proven hazing. If the hazing was aggravated, fines can be increased up to $15,000.
Because of the potential for serious penalties, including the damage of a permanent criminal record after a conviction, you must put a skilled defender on your side who is committed to protecting client rights and fighting for a favorable outcome. Attorney Sean Logue is known and respected for experienced and aggressive defense representation.
Call (412) 612-2210 or contact us online to get started on your case.