Ohio RC 2903.31 Offenses

There are only six states in the nation that do not have laws against hazing. Ohio’s hazing laws are detailed in § 2903.31 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The statutes define hazing as,

Any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person.

Hazing allegations are surfacing with increasing regularity. In a survey, more than half of college students involved in various clubs, teams, and organizations admitted that they had experienced hazing. Koffel Brininger Nesbitt represents individuals who have been implicated in hazing events, such as students, administrators, coaches, and teachers.

For a free legal consultation with a hazing lawyer serving Columbus, call 614-884-1100

Hazing Is a Fourth Degree Misdemeanor

According to § 2903.31 of the Ohio Revised Codes, hazing is a fourth degree misdemeanor. According to Ohio law, misdemeanors of the fourth degree require the court to issue a definite jail term of not more than 30 days. People accused of hazing can also be the subject of civil actions in addition to criminal, according to § 2307.44 of the RC. These civil actions typically seek financial compensation for damages including mental and physical pain and suffering resulting from the alleged hazing.

Columbus Hazing Lawyer Near Me 614-884-1100

Examples of Hazing

There are two major categories of hazing: physical hazing and harassment hazing. Physical hazing can range from minor discomfort to severe pain. Harassment hazing comprises more subtle attempts to create mental anguish or emotional discomfort. Some specific examples of hazing include:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Silent treatment
  • Requiring the subject to perform dangerous stunts

It can be difficult to distinguish when harmless fun and pranks crosses the line and becomes hazing. When making this decision, judges and courts will often consider whether alcohol was involved, whether the activity runs the risk of injury or death, and whether the activity could reasonably result in emotional or psychological damage.