Compassionate Counsel. Committed Advocacy

Fraternity life, death and criminal defense

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2019 | Firm News

Greek societies at Louisiana colleges and universities can provide a means for making lasting social connections and can also ease the transition from living at home to the independence of being a college student. There are many traditions of fraternities that can be beneficial but there are also traditions that can be dangerous and lead to law-breaking activities. Chief among these may be the abundance of alcohol at some functions and the rituals of hazing that have increased in severity over the years. Criminal defense attorneys have become familiar with the possible legal consequences of hazing in recent years.

A recent case at Louisiana State University involved the death of a pledge who was 18 years old and wanted to become a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The young man’s death was believed to have been caused by alcohol poisoning and 10 young men were charged in connection with the death.  Two of the men recently pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges and were each sentenced to 30 days in jail.

An autopsy showed that the deceased’s blood alcohol level at the time of his death was .495%. That is more than six times the legal limit. The death brought about the suspension of all fraternity and sorority activities on the campus. The chapter of Phi Delta Theta had its charter revoked for at least 14 years.

Having a police record can have damaging consequences for one’s career. A young person facing criminal charges in Louisiana may wish to consult with an attorney experienced in criminal defense. A lawyer can apprise one of one’s rights and help to ensure that those rights are upheld throughout the criminal justice process.