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Consent does not make hazing okay

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Students sometimes willingly participate in hazing, believing it to be an exciting opportunity to prove themselves. However, the reality is that many students only consent to these initiation rituals after succumbing to peer pressure. While some hazing rites are harmless, they can easily cross the line into a humiliating and dangerous experience for students.

Someone agreeing to join a hazing ritual does not mean it is all in good fun. The law takes a vastly different view. In Georgia, hazing involves subjecting students through coercion to activities that can threaten their physical health, regardless of consent. It includes the forced consumption of substances that may result in harm.

What are the penalties for hazing?

Although it is known to result in severe injuries and deaths, not all students are aware that hazing is against the law.

Initiation rituals that cause injury to another student may result in misdemeanor charges. Naturally, this may tarnish a student’s academic record and threaten their future opportunities. It could also subject the accused to hefty fines or spending time behind bars.

In the unfortunate case that hazing results in the loss of life, responsible parties may face longer jail sentences and higher fines.

Despite the efforts of student organizations to reform hazing rituals as part of school tradition, the law remains stringent. Hazing is not a harmless prank but a criminal act that can put someone’s life in danger.

Even if the victim gave their consent, the law may still hold those who initiated hazing accountable for any resulting injuries. This serious offense can have lasting repercussions. For young adults facing hazing allegations, obtaining legal counsel can pave the way for building a solid defense that helps preserve their future.