Judge Rules Illinois Hazing Law is Constitutional

Posted on in Criminal Law

Arlington Heights Criminal Lawyer, Class 4 felony, Class A misdemeanor, Illinois Hazing Act, hazing, against hazing, act of hazing, criminal classification, college fraternities, college sororities, intoxicationAn Illinois judge recently ruled on the constitutionality of the state’s law against hazing. According to the Illinois Hazing Act, it is illegal for an official group that is associated with any educational institute (i.e. school sports teams, fraternities, sororities, etc.) to require a student to engage in activity that is not authorized by the school, and results in injury to the student, in order for the student to be admitted into the group.

The criminal classification for hazing is a Class A misdemeanor and a conviction could mean up to one year in jail and fine of $2500. If the act of hazing results in severe bodily injury or death, then the criminal classification is a Class 4 felony, with convictions carrying prison terms of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000. An extended Class 4 felony conviction carries a prison sentence of three to six years.

Activities that fall under the category of hazing include:

  • Forcing the victim to consume alcohol and/or drugs, whether by command or pressure;
  • Causing the victim excessive fatigue, either by depriving sleep or other means;
  • Depriving the victim of water and food;
  • Forcing the victim to commit acts of shoplifting, vandalism ,or other illegal activities;
  • Forcing the victim to perform endurance activities or other exercises;
  • Paddling the victim;
  • Performing any kind of psychological or physical shocks on the victim; and
  • Forcing the victim to participate in a stunt or prank, including making the victim wear clothing or other apparel in public that would be embarrassing or inappropriate.

The case before the judge involved a hazing incident where the victim, who was pledging to get into a fraternity, died after consuming too much alcohol. Four men have been charged with the victim’s death under the Illinois Hazing Act, but attorneys for the men had argued the law’s definition of what constitutes "illegal behavior" is too vague. The judge disagreed with that argument.

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to make sure that all your constitutional rights are protected.