Rancho Cucamonga Hazing Defense Lawyers
California Penal Code 245.6 Offenses
Hazing is a serious offense under state laws. Given the potential danger of hazing crimes, at least 44 states have passed laws criminalizing the act. California is one of these states. Under California Penal Code, Section 245.6, hazing is defined as
any method of initiation or preinitiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state. The term "hazing" does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.
With current juvenile practices and activities being scrutinized by the media and by the authorities, hazing charges are not something to be ignored. If not handled properly, hazing crimes can lead to jail time and hefty fines. If you or your loved one has been charged with a hazing offense, it is important that you seek legal counsel. Our Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorneys at Chung & Ignacio have a comprehensive understanding of the state’s penal code. We can help clients potentially reduce or drop the charges against them.
Consequences of Hazing Offenses
Hazing charges are considered “wobbler” offenses under California law. This means that the charge can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. The extent of damage and pain caused by the crime dictates which category the offense falls under. However, it is important to understand that both misdemeanors and felonies are serious situations, especially for young adults. These offenses show up on your records and can affect your academic, professional, and personal goals.
In general, hazing crimes are considered misdemeanors. Under the penal code, however, if a death or extensive physical or mental damage occurs, the prosecutors can fight it as a felony charge. If convicted, the defendant can face serious penalties.
Hazing penalties include:
- Up to one year of jail time
- A fine ranging between $100 - $5,000
- If convicted of a felony, up to 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years of jail time
It is important to note that the age of the defendant matters in these cases. Normal hazing charges involve youths in school. If the person accused is under 18 years old, they will be tried in the California juvenile court system. All other cases are tried in the California criminal courts.
With hazing charges, you need someone who is familiar with both courts. At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, we are! Not only are we comfortable working with both courts, we are particularly knowledgeable with the Rancho Cucamonga courts and the judges that preside there. This can help give you an advantage in your case.
Can You Afford Not to Call Us?
Hazing charges are considered criminal offenses. If you are convicted, not only will you have to serve jail time and pay fines, you will also have it noted on your criminal record. That means when you apply to schools, jobs, and other professional goals, the organization will be notified.
That is why, if you or a loved one has been charged with a hazing crime, it is imperative that you hire experienced legal counsel who can represent your interests. At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, our qualified attorneys have access to resources and services not available to others. Allow our Rancho Cucamonga hazing defense attorneys to fight for your rights.
Call today at (909) 726-7112 to schedule a free consultation today!