Attorney FAQs

Note: The questions below are intended for students who attend San Jose State University. If you have general questions or more in depth questions about Student Conduct and Ethical Development, please send us an email at



Q: I have been asked to represent a student who has been charged with allegedly violating the student conduct process? How do we establish communication with the University?

A:  Each campus president determines whether it is appropriate for attorneys to be present in all or some proceedings. San Jose State University does not permit attorneys to be present in any proceeding, which applies to both the student charged and the campus. A student can consult an attorney outside of the actual proceedings.
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Q: Isn’t the student disciplinary process double-jeopardy for someone also facing criminal charges?

A:  The criminal justice system and the student conduct process are separate processes. A student is responsible for upholding the Student Conduct Code as well as the law. A student may have to go through the student conduct process even if the criminal case is not completed or if the criminal charges are dropped. The student conduct process will proceed before, simultaneously with, or after any other judicial process.
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Q: What is the “preponderance of evidence” in the student conduct process?

A:  Decisions with respect to student responsibility for alleged actions are made based on preponderance of the evidence; that is, the hearing officer will determine what is “more likely than not” to have taken place.
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Q: The incident took place off campus. What interest does the University have?

A:  The University is responsible for maintaining a safe community and appropriate standards of conduct for its students.  This includes both on and off campus behavior which can have impact on the university community.
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Q: What will happen if my client refuses to participate in the student conduct process?

A:  The process will continue with or without the student’s involvement. The student will have two weeks from the date of the come in letter to set up an informal conference with the student conduct officer. If a student fails to set up an appointment with the student conduct officer, a hold will be placed on the students account and a Formal Hearing will be scheduled.
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