For decades, hazing has been a huge issue throughout various institutions
in the United States. It has come to the attention of Texas lawmakers
that there needs to be consequences for such inhumane acts on fellow peers.
Studies show that more than half of college students involved in clubs,
teams, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations experience some
form of hazing. Furthermore, 47 percent of students have experienced hazing
before entering their respective universities.
Definition of Hazing
According to the Texas Education Code, hazing refers to “any intentional,
knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off campus of an educational
institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against
student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating
with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization
whose members are students at an education institution.”
The following are the specific actions considered as hazing:
- Any form of physical brutality, such as beating, branding, or whipping.
- Any activity which threatens the body of permanent damage, such as sleep
deprivation, confinement to a small area, exposure to extreme and inclement weather.
- Forced consumption of any substance that would result in unreasonable harm,
such as alcohol, drugs, or food.
- Any act which results in unreasonable emotional or mental distress.
Texas Penalties for Hazing
If an individual is in any way participating in, encouraging or is even
knowledgeable of harmful hazing, they are subject to a personal hazing
charge. Failing to report and any other offense that does not cause serious
bodily injury is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable
by a maximum county jail sentence of 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000.
Any hazing offense that causes serious bodily injury to another is a Class
A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum county jail sentence of one year
and a fine of up to $1,000. Any hazing offense that causes the death of
another is a state jail felony, punishable by a maximum prison sentence
of two years and a fine of up to $1,000.
On the other hand, if the entire organization, or any section including
pledges, members, or alumni, is found to blame for the harm of another
student in light of hazing, the charges are considered misdemeanors. Additionally,
the organization as a whole will be charged between $5,000 and $10,000.
If those actions cause a personal injury, extreme damages or irreplaceable
loss, it is punishable by a fine ranging from $5,000 or double the amount lost.
If you were arrested for or charged with a personal or organizational hazing
offense in TX,
contact our Plano criminal defense attorney at
The Law Offices of Scott Edgett and request a
free consultation today.