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  • "Mr. Pumphrey and his staff are true experts at interpretation of the law and worked hard to protect my rights." by Anonymous (Google Review 3), Past Client
  • "Best criminal attorney in Florida" by Elizabeth R., Past Client
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  • "Without question, the best criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee." by J.P.M., Past Client
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  • "I was referred to Mr. Pumphrey’s law firm through a mutual friend who spoke highly of him. At no surprise, he came through for me in a huge way. He was effective and efficient. If you are in need of a top notch lawyer that gets the job done, Don Pumphrey is who you need!" by Jonathan C., Past Client
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FSU College Student Defense Attorney

FSU Students

FSU Student Defense Lawyer

When a college student at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, is charged with a crime, the stakes are high. Not only will the student face the criminal charges in court, but the university may also initiate a disciplinary action against the student. The criminal case and the disciplinary action can have a long-lasting consequence on the student’s future educational opportunities and hiring a student defense attorney in Tallahassee is critical.

FSU College Students – What to Know as a Student on Campus

Whether you are a new or returning student at Florida State University, it is imperative that you have a full understanding of where to go for help in the case of an emergency. College is an exciting time in a young person’s career. However, bad things can still occur even during the most stimulating years of your life. Parties, sporting events, and constant interactions with new people can sometimes lead to unfortunate events. Being aware of FSU’s rules, and what happens if these rules are violated, are essential to your time as a student.

The FSU Student Conduct Code

FSU’s Student Conduct Code highlights the commitment to the community on campus which exercises the responsible engagement of students. It is a document that is consistent with the Seminole Creed and helps students balance their pursuit for education and exploration with consideration to the impact of behavior on themselves and others.

The Conduct Code goes over specific terms when addressing students who have violated any of the codes on-campus. For instance, the term “on-campus” would mean all buildings, land, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by FSU. The term “student” refers to any individual meeting one of the four following requirements: 

  1. Admitted – The student is admitted to FSU and is present on campus for the purpose of participating in any course, program, or activity leading to enrollment. 
  2. Enrolled – The student is enrolled in any credit-bearing course or program offered by FSU at the time of the alleged violation(s) occurred. 
  3. Active Student – The student is enrolled and continues association with FSU in order to complete a course or program in which the student was enrolled. “Active” status is enforced and determined by the Registrar’s Office. 
  4. Dual Enrollment – The student is enrolled in credit bearing courses on a dual-enrollment basis.

Values and Moral Standards

Presented by FSU, the Values and Moral Standards document states, “The University is a compassionate community. In its treatment of students, it recognizes the wisdom both of letting students experience the consequences of their actions and providing the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that can overcome past difficulties.” 

Student Rights

As an FSU student, you are entitled to due process rights, which can have an impact on the appellate process if you have violated any of the codes of conduct. Students have the right to be informed of any alleged allegations received in a written complaint. Students also have the right to receive a hearing in a timely manner, where they are given a full opportunity to present their case. Students have the right to be provided privacy, confidentiality, and personal security. Students are advised to contact the Dean of Students Department for further information.

Have You Been Accused of a Crime While Attending FSU?

College is supposed to be some of the best four years of your life. Sometimes the party gets out of hand. Underage possession is one of the more common charges college students face. If you get caught underage drinking in a dorm, or out at Potbelly’s on Macomb Street, you will face more than just an early ended night. Any violation, whether on or off campus, is usually prosecuted by the Dean of Students under the FSU Student Conduct Code. This can result in multiple repercussions, with both legal and academic implications. There is the potential of missing classes and failing, losing Bright Futures scholarships, or even expulsion. Read more about College Student Criminal Defense and the types of charges students typically face. There are serious consequences to getting in trouble with the law, especially as a university student. After going through the long process of applying to schools, paying tuition, and even making it across campus, you don’t want to throw it all away because of one mistake.

Helpful Information to Keep You Safe on Campus

If you have witnessed a crime on campus, have witnessed a crime with another student, or if you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime, it is of utter importance that you contact an attorney. However, before doing that, it is also important to know who you can immediately contact on campus. Having the knowledge of who can help you in the worst-case scenarios on a college campus is important to keep students safe.

Tallahassee’s main university, FSU, has multiple contacts you can get connected with in case of an emergency or if a crime has been committed. If you need to report an incident, there are ways to do so in a confidential manner. They also provide information on who to contact if you need advice or need to talk to someone about an incident. As a student you can find out ways to support someone. Even if something has happened and you are unsure what to do, they have information to help you navigate the unknown.

If you have experienced a traumatic event on your college campus, you may be in shock. This is a completely valid emotional response. Some tips to on what to do next start with reaching out to a confidential source. If it is a crime of sexual battery, time is of the essence. Do not question the event or consider yourself at fault. Accept whatever feelings you have and move into the direction to take action. Although it may seem difficult to reach out, it is important to get in contact with someone who can help. Here are some of FSU’s campus resources that are there to assist you in a time of need:

  • FSU POLICE

Students can contact (850)644-1234 to reach the campus police. It is a non-confidential line if you are worried about anonymity.

  • FSU Victim Advocate Program

The victim advocate program can be reached at (850)644-7161 24/7, including holidays. You can also text them at (850)756-4320.

  • University Counseling Center

Students can call (850)644-TALK (8255) and reach a 24-hour hotline, and the university offers evaluations for students on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).  

  • Refuge House (Off Campus Resource)

The number for the refugee house is (850)681-2111.

  • Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness

SMART (Students Making Alcohol and Other Drug Responsibility Theirs) presents the legal and personal consequences of substance abuse and can be reached at (850) 644-8871.

FSU also provides information on Crime Prevention Resources. This includes, but is not limited to Active Shooter Training, Campus Safety and Fire Report, Rape Aggression Defense Training, and Speak Up and Stand Out. For additional contact information, check out FSU’s Know More page on their website.

Criminal Defense for FSU Students

Disciplinary hearings can involve an accusation of wrongdoing even if no arrest was made. It is not necessarily required that the alleged misconduct occurred on campus. At FSU, disciplinary hearings can involve any of the following:

  • Criminal charges regardless of whether the offense occurred on campus or off campus
  • Non-criminal violations of the student code
  • Violations of the academic honor code
  • Violations of residence hall regulations

The result of a disciplinary action against a student at Florida State University (FSU) is expulsion, suspension, or probation. The violation might also lead to a termination of a housing contract or failure of an academic course. Any action taken by Florida State University can be very expensive for the student and their parents.

Many of these allegations are investigated by officers with the Florida State University Police Department (FSUPD). We are familiar with the standard operating procedures that these officers must follow. We can help the student invoke their right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney represent them at every stage of the case, including in the courtroom and at the disciplinary hearing.

Call (850) 681-7777 to talk to the attorney at the Pumphrey Law.


Criminal Charges Against FSU College Students

Undergraduate and graduate students at Florida State University (FSU) should immediately contact an attorney if they are charged with a crime or told that a disciplinary action will be brought against them. The criminal defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law are experienced in representing FSU students charged with the following types of criminal offenses:

The Student Conduct Code at FSU is 26 pages long. The code outlines dozens of specifically banned acts, including:

  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Endangerment
  • Stalking
  • Hazing
  • Weapons Possession
  • The Use or Possession of Illegal Drugs

Additional Resources

  • FSUPD
    With more than sixty-seven (67) sworn law enforcement officers, the Florida State University Police Department (FSUPD) takes a proactive approach to law enforcement to protect students, staff, and visitors at the campus in Tallahassee and Panama City. As the third-largest law enforcement agency in Leon County, the FSUPD provides 24-hour protection for more than 40,000 students, faculty, and staff across the 450-acre Tallahassee campus. Its jurisdiction also includes facilities of the university in outlying areas, such as properties within Innovation Park and the Capital District.

    FSUPD Headquarters
    830 West Jefferson St.
    PO Box 3064215
    Tallahassee FL, 32306
    (850) 644-1234

  • Florida State University Student Conduct Code
    The code appears in State of Florida Administrative Code FSU-ER15-3. The code outlines the rights, offenses, procedures and policies that are upheld by FSU’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The code was last updated in June of 2016.
  • FSU Student Conduct Hearings Have Own Set of Rules
    Read a news article from the Tallahassee Democrat about Florida State University’s system for determining whether a student has violated its code of conduct which is very different from what defendants in criminal cases encounter in the courtroom. The article explains why the standard of proof is lower and why the accused doesn’t always get to face the accuser during cross-examination.
  • Florida State University Housing Contract – this page contains the Housing Contract for FSU as well as the rules and expectations of on-campus residents.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney for FSU College Students

If you or your child is a student at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee facing a criminal charge or violation of the student conduct code and disciplinary hearing, then contact an experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney at the Pumphrey Law.

At student conduct code violation hearings, FSU students found responsible for the violation can face punishments including reprimand and community-service hours and, in more serious cases, removal from student housing, suspension, and expulsion. The punishments at the disciplinary hearing can occur even before the student enters the courtroom to face the criminal charges.

Students need an attorney that can protect them at every stage of the case. With offices conveniently located in Tallahassee in Leon County, call us to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Let us put our experience to work for you.


This article was last updated on Monday September 6, 2021.

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