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Proposed NJ Law Cuts Financial Aid to Students Convicted of Hazing

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jul 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

A recent bill proposed by a New Jersey legislator would cut state financial aid to students convicted of violating the state's anti-hazing statute. It would build on New Jersey's existing hazing statute, which defines and criminalizes hazing in the context of school fraternities and sororities.

If you've been charged with hazing in New Jersey and are facing criminal prosecution, you need the help of the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team. Call us today at 888.535.3686 or schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys using our online form.

The Proposed Law

This is the fourth time Assemblywoman Carol A. Murphy has introduced legislation that would cut financial aid to students convicted of hazing. If passed, students receiving state aid in New Jersey would no longer be eligible if convicted of hazing or aggravated hazing. At the last report, the bill was referred to the assembly's Higher Education Committee in February of 2024 but had not yet been acted on. Similar legislation was also proposed in 2018 by state Senator Tom Kean but failed to become law.

The issue has also been raised at the federal level. Florida Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson proposed legislation in 2012 that would have the same effect with respect to federal financial aid. It also failed to make it into law.

Hazing Crimes on Campus

New Jersey criminalizes hazing and aggravated hazing. The law specifically applies in cases of “initiation of applicants to or members of” fraternities, sororities, and other student organizations, provided the membership is “primarily students or alumni” of either the organization or a college or university.

The law makes it a crime to “knowingly or recklessly” cause someone to commit a number of acts, including violating state or federal law or consuming food or alcohol in a way that would subject the person to the risk of emotional or physical harm. It also criminalizes subjecting someone to a range of different types of physical or mental abuse. Hazing can be prosecuted as a third-degree crime if the victim suffers “death or serious bodily injury,” a fourth-degree crime if the victim suffers “bodily injury,” or otherwise as a disorderly persons defense.

The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team Can Help

While the proposed law denying financial aid to those convicted of hazing has not yet passed, if you've been accused of violating New Jersey's anti-hazing statute, you have more than losing your state grants or loans to worry about. A conviction of even a disorderly persons offense can follow you around for years, making your life and your future substantially more difficult. A conviction of a third-degree or fourth-degree crime can lead to you spending up to five years in prison.

The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team can help. Our experienced attorneys have defended the rights of clients, including college students, all across New Jersey. We understand the laws, the procedures, the prosecutors, and the court system and are here to fight for your rights and defend you against the power of the state.

If you've been charged with a hazing crime, don't try to defend yourself! Contact one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys from the Lento Law Firm by calling us at 888.535.3686, or by using our online form to schedule a confidential consultation. We're here to listen and to help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!

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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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