Does punishment for a medical issue that is out of my control constitute a legal problem?

I go to a top 10 school where the dean’s office is trying to punish me for what is clearly a medical issue. I was prescribed new medication for ADHD that caused a blackout. I ended up urinating in another student’s room. Of course, I paid for all damages, etc. I had a meeting with the judicial board where I presented 2 doctors’ notes and my medical records.

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Diminished capacity can be defense to a criminal trial--that's why you hear about people being incompetent to stand trial, or being found either "not guilty by reason of insanity" or "guilty but insane." However, diminished capacity, including due to medication, is not a defense to a civil proceeding or to an institution's in-house disciplinary, etc. system. So while you can, and should, provide all evidence that would tend to mitigate the circumstances or exonerate you, the university can hold you accountable for your actions, so long as their own judicial codes which they have adopted permit this.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.