Chicago Hazing Lawyers

It’s an age-old ritual that is often explained as a desire to form brotherly or sisterly bonds under a shared experience. However, there is a sinister and dangerous side to the secret traditions. That was most recently highlighted by the high profile death of Timothy Piazza. The 19-year old died after a hazing ritual at Penn State where he was forced to drink 18 drinks in 82 minutes. He passed away with a blood alcohol content of .36, which was well over the legal limit. After his death, Pennsylvania then passed some of the strictest hazing laws in the country.

Universities across the nation are also cracking down on these unsanctioned activities. It’s no different in the Chicago area, where such unsanctioned and dangerous activities likely occur everywhere including well-known schools such as Northwestern University, University of Illinois, and the University of Chicago. If your child was hurt or killed in a hazing incident, you can hold the responsible party accountable. Contact the Chicago hazing attorneys of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC by calling (312) 644-0444 for a free legal consultation.

What is Hazing?

According to Illinois law, hazing is when a student knowingly forces another student to perform an unsanctioned act for the purpose of being inducted into an organization or society, resulting in bodily harm. Some real-life examples of hazing include forcing people to drink alcohol or eat certain foods, forcing someone to serve you or complete chores, yelling and screaming in a degrading or humiliating way, or physically beating someone to initiate them into an organization.

It is illegal to participate in hazing in Illinois. Many schools have their own hazing philosophies, defining hazing as an act that does not contribute to an individual’s positive development, inflicts emotional or psychological harm, or demeans and disgraces a person.

What is the Illinois Social Liability Law?

Otherwise known as the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act, it was enacted following the death of a 16-year old girl, who was left unattended after being pressured into drinking an entire bottle of liquor. The law is meant to target adults who furnish minors with alcohol but can also be used in legal actions against fraternities and sororities if hazing takes place. For example, a pledge from Northern Illinois University died after a night of forced drinking, although the case became complicated and contested in court when it was questioned whether the case was a social host situation or whether the hazing statute applied.

Penalties for Hazing

Aside from legal penalties for hazing, students will likely see punishment from their school if they are found guilty or convicted of hazing. There are dozens of schools in Illinois, all of which have their own mandates and punishments regarding hazing. Some punishments include expulsion from the organization or from the school itself.

If You Are Accused of Hazing or if a Loved One Was The Victim of Hazing, Speak to One of Our Experienced Chicago Attorneys

Hazing is a serious, dangerous, and sometimes deadly custom that is always a source of concern for parents and others involved. If your child has been accused of hazing or has been a victim of hazing, it’s best to contact a lawyer to make sure you are treated fairly by the justice system. The experienced injury attorneys at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC know what it takes to make sure your child is properly protected. We can be reached 24/7, with convenient offices in Chicago, Arlington Heights, and elsewhere. Call us at (800) 996-4824 or fill out an online form to get free information today.