The Louisiana House of Representatives has passed a new bill to combat hazing on college campuses. If the bill passes into law, that could lead to a reduction in criminal charges for college students associated or involved with hazing activities that lead to injury or death. Structuring a criminal defense for these young people is a critical part of protecting their futures.
The bill would require Louisiana colleges and universities to provide specific anti-hazing education to new students. Currently, a hazing conviction leads to 30 days behind bars and a fine of $100. However, if a hazing incident leads to serious injury or death, the individuals involved can face far more serious criminal charges, up to and including negligent homicide.
Hazing deaths are tragic, and the practice of hazing is certainly something that deserves more attention. However, these incidents are often very complex, and involve many different individuals. Often, the majority of people associated with a case were intoxicated at the time a tragedy took place. In most of these cases, many young people were aware that one or more of their peers were drinking heavily, but did not have the insight or experience to know how to properly render aid.
Structuring a criminal defense in these matters is critical, as a conviction can absolutely destroy a student's chances of a successful future. If the current bill passes into law, new college students could receive in-depth education on the dangers of hazing, which could help them choose less dangerous ways of behaving while at school. Tradition is important to colleges and universities, but the safety of all students is paramount.
Source: nola.com, "Louisiana House passes bill to require anti-hazing education at colleges", Wilborn P. Nobles III, May 2, 2018