Penn State and State College Borough and neighboring communities have begun enforcing COVID restrictions by issuing citations for violation.  The COVID violation is typically for exceeding gathering limits or failure to wear a mask.  The State College Borough has passed an ordinance that, among other things, creates a fine of $300 for a violation.   A borough COVID violation will almost certainly also result in discipline on campus as the citations are shared with the University.

Students who receive a borough citation are required to respond to the Magisterial District Court in State College for entry of a plea for the COVID violation. Pleading guilty will lead to a summary record that could jeopardize potential career opportunities and may not be the best or only option, so consulting with an attorney prior to entering a plea is important.

Likewise, A COVID violation will result in an email from Penn State Office of Student Conduct or Residence Life scheduling an initial conference. If you do not attend this conference the process will proceed without you and sanctions are imposed. You are entitled to have an advisor, and preparation prior to the conference is critical to increasing the chances of a favorable outcome.

Loss of housing or a suspension will create a serious and expensive disruption to your college career, and should be taken seriously.  There are many available defenses for these violations but you may lose important rights if you plead guilty or agree to a sanction prior to discussing your rights with counsel.

If you or someone you know has been charged by police or contacted by Penn State University regarding a COVID violation, you should contact an attorney who can represent you in court and advise you during the Student Conduct process.  An experienced lawyer at the Mazza Law Group is able to assist you with violations that could impact your academic career and future.