Arizona Hazing Defense Attorney

We Defend Those Accused of Every Type of Crime

Hazing Defense Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ

Professional & Experienced Lawyer – Available 24/7

Phoenix Hazing Defense Attorney

Until now, Arizona did not have specific statutes to outlaw hazing. If you or someone you love has been accused of hazing, it’s important to contact an Arizona hazing defense attorney right away. 

Higher education institutions will worry about their image first. Protecting college students and their rights will not fall high on their priority list. At Belén Law Firm, our attorneys understand the importance of proactive and aggressive legal representation. Belén Olmedo Guerra is ready to protect your rights and craft the best legal strategy for your case. For more information about our legal services or to schedule a free consultation, call us today at (602) 715-0908

What is Considered Hazing?

Fraternities, sororities, and other campus organizations often have new-member initiation ceremonies. These ceremonies are meant to build camaraderie among new and existing members. Most fraternities and sororities have a long history of secret traditions and procedures that only members know and take part in. Unfortunately, a mix of peer pressure and alcohol consumption can sometimes cause these ceremonies to go too far. 

For something to be considered hazing, it has to happen to students by students. The act has to have a connection to initiation or continuing membership in a campus organization. The act also has to cause or have the potential to cause physical or mental harm or degradation. 

Is Hazing a Crime?

Not all hazing activities involve endangering behavior or breaking laws. Hazing often involves silly pranks or embarrassing style choices. HB2322 states that even if the student consented to the activity, hazing charges can still be pursued. Unfortunately, the new anti-hazing legislation puts educational institutions under a microscope. Colleges and universities are legally required to enforce anti-hazing policies, which means students can be charged with hazing crimes with little to no leniency.  

Phoenix, AZ Hazing Defense Attorney

Arizona Anti-Hazing Law

Until recently, Arizona was one of a handful of states that had no laws defining or outlawing hazing activities. These states include Alaska, New Mexico, Hawaii, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana.

As of September 24, 2022, a new hazing law went into effect to outlaw hazing in Arizona. House Bill 2322 or “Jack’s Law” is named after Arizona State University student Jack Culolias who died in 2012 after hazing activities went too far.

Jack’s Law in Arizona

Under the new Arizona law, hazing includes any act committed by a student against another student. This act must be for the purpose of initiation or membership within an organization that causes or has the potential to cause physical injury, mental harm, or personal degradation.

Many activities can constitute hazing. The examples listed in HB2322 include:

  • Causing, coercing, or forcing a minor or student to violate a federal or state law.
  • Forced consumption of food, liquid, or drugs to a risk of emotional or physical harm.
  • Causing, coercing, or forcing a minor or student to endure physical, mental, or sexual brutality. This includes sleep deprivation, being confined to small spaces, or forced nudity.
  • Causing, coercing, or forcing a minor or student to take part in any activity that could result in physical harm.

A.R.S. § 15-2301

Every public educational institution in Arizona has to enforce a hazing prevention policy under A.R.S. § 15-2301. According to A.R.S. § 15-2301, hazing is defined as “any intentional, knowing or reckless act committed by a student, whether individually or in concert with other persons, against another student, and in which both of the following apply:

(a) The act was committed in connection with an initiation into, an affiliation with or the maintenance of membership in any organization that is affiliated with an educational institution.

(b) The act contributes to a substantial risk of potential physical injury, mental harm or degradation or causes physical injury, mental harm or personal degradation.”

Hazing is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but criminal charges aren’t the only consequences. As a university, high school, or college student, you could face expulsion and lose scholarships. This would put a permanent mark on your academic record. Educational institutions and organizations often try to distance themselves from hazing incidents. You could end up taking the full blame for any injury or death caused by hazing activities, even if you didn’t play a significant part in the incident. 

Penalties for Hazing Conviction in Arizona

Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanors under Arizona law. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to six months, probation of up to three years, and up to $2,500 in fines. If the hazing incident ended in a death, the penalty goes up to a Class 4 felony

A Class 4 felony conviction can mean anywhere between one year and nearly four years in prison. A felony conviction in Arizona can also severely limit your future, as felons have a difficult time finding housing, education opportunities, and gainful employment. 

For a Top Phoenix Hazing Defense Attorney, Call Belén Today

If you or someone you love has been accused of hazing in Arizona, contact Belén Olmedo Guerra at Belén Law Firm today. Belén is a Phoenix criminal defense attorney with 24/7 availability, because we know that the real world doesn’t operate on a 9-5 schedule. Our legal team is available around the clock to answer your questions and protect your rights. 

An attorney-client relationship can help you at a time when it seems like all hope is lost. With Belén by your side, you can trust that we keep your best interests in mind through all aspects of your case. For a free consultation with an experienced hazing defense lawyer, call us today at (602) 715-0908.

Phoenix Online Solicitation of a Minor Lawyer

All of the below universities and colleges (and their fraternities and sororities) prohibit hazing activities, and students may be facing a criminal case for violating these laws.

  • The University of Arizona (UoA)
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
    • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
    • Alpha Phi Gamma Sorority
    • Alpha Pi Omega Sorority
    • Delta Lambda Phi Social Fraternity
    • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
    • Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority
    • Gamma Rho Lambda National Sorority
    • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
    • Kappa Delta Chi Sorority
    • Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority
    • Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity
    • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
    • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
    • Pi Alpha Phi FraternitySigma Gamma Rho Sorority
    • Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity
    • Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority
    • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
  • Arizona State University (ASU)
    • Acacia Fraternity
    • Alpha Epsilon Pi
    • Alpha Kappa Lambda
    • Alpha Sigma Phi
    • Delta Sigma Phi
    • Delta Tau Delta
    • Kappa Alpha Order
    • Kappa Delta Rho
    • Lambda Chi Alpha
    • Omega Delta Phi
    • Phi Delta Theta
    • Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)
    • Phi Kappa Psi
    • Phi Kappa Tau
    • Phi Kappa Theta
    • Pi Kappa Alpha
    • Pi Kappa Phi
    • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
    • Sigma Alpha Mu
    • Sigma Nu
    • Sigma Pi
    • Sigma Tau Gamma
    • Theta Chi
    • Theta Delta Chi
    • Theta Xi
    • Zeta Beta Tau
  • Grand Canyon University (GCU)
  • Northern Arizona University (NAU)
    • Alpha Sigma Phi
    • Delta Chi
    • Delta Tau Delta
    • FIJI
    • Kappa Alpha Order
    • Kappa Sigma
    • Phi Sigma Kappa
    • Pi Kappa Alpha
    • Pi Kappa Phi
    • Sigma Chi
    • Sigma Nu
    • Sigma Pi
    • Theta Chi
    • Alpha Delta Pi
    • Alpha Omicron Pi
    • Alpha Phi
    • Chi Omega
    • Delta Delta Delta
    • Delta Phi Epsilon
    • Gamma Phi Beta
    • Kappa Delta
    • Pi Beta Phi
    • Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority
    • Gamma Rho Lambda Sorority
    • Kappa Delta Chi Sorority
    • Omega Delta Phi Fraternity
    • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
    • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
    • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
  • Arizona Christian University (ACU)
  • Phoenix College
  • Prescott College
  • Arizona Western College
  • And more

 

If you have been accused or charged with hazing within any of these institutions (or others not listed) call experienced Phoenix hazing defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra today at (602) 715-0908 for a free consultation regarding your case.