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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 19008
Experience:  Criminal law experience in both JAG and the civilian sector.
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Our son is at a University in Virginia, he has received university

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Our son is at a University in Virginia, he has received university conduct charges of alcohol, and endagering conduct, and the sanction charge of probation 32 weeks. He is in a student teaching program and will be removed from the program if these charges hold. He is 12 weeks from graduation and receiving his teaching certificate. He was given a dui ticket however his case went to trial and the charges were reduced to a reckless driving conviction, with fines. He has paid all fines and the Virginia case is closed. The University says they governor by preponderance, however with the reduced Virginia charge and conviction to reckless driving do you think he can legally get the University charge of alcohol and the sanction charge of probabtion removed, so he might continue in the prgram and graduate?
Appreciate your thoughts.
A very worried mother in Virginia
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

He can certainly ask that the University consider changing the charge, but the problem here is that the University is independent of the criminal court system.

In criminal law, you have to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a very high standard and often prosecutors will accept a lessor offense is order to not have to face that very high burden of proof.

A state university, however, when making a decision about enrollment in their programs, is not held to that same very high standard. They simply have to show that it was more likely than not that the DUI took place. So, to give this math terms, the prosecutor has to convince a jury that the DUI was 99% certain (not actually the law, but this is a generally accepted example). The prosecutor may have felt that the evidence was about 85% certain and didn't go forward.

Well, a preponderance of the evidence, which the college uses, is just more likely than not or 51% convinced that the DUI took place (you only have to slightly beat out the likelihood that it didn't take place). That is because a college determination is not a criminal conviction. This is also the burden of proof in a civil law court, if you were to sue someone for breach of contract or something, so the school has legal precedents to follow here.

So, now you can see...while 85% might not have been enough to prosecute (99%), it is more than enough to beat a preponderance of the evidence (51%).

This is why the college will be reluctant to change their position.
Allen M., Esq. and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you

No problem. Good luck going forward.

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