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Florida’s Stricter Hazing Law to Take Effect in October

A Florida bill that strengthens laws against student organization hazing will take effect on Oct. 1. 

State law already considered hazing to be a third-degree felony, as well as a first-degree misdemeanor when the hazing is done “intentionally or recklessly” and “creates a substantial risk of physical injury or death.”

Now, upon the passage of Senate Bill 1080, also known as “Andrew’s Law,” these charges will also apply to people who solicit someone to commit hazing or to those that planned the hazing, regardless of their actual attendance at the hazing event.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved the bill last month.

Andrew’s Law also provides legal immunity to some people involved in hazing-related situations who meet certain requirements. Such immunity is granted to the first people who contact emergency services for someone who is injured due to hazing. That person must also give sufficient information to dispatchers, as well as provide aid to and remain with the injured person until help arrives. 

Previously, criminal charges only followed after serious bodily injury or death to members or applicants of an organization occurred. The new bill also adds “permanent injury” to the first list and “former members” to the later. 

The law is named after Andrew Coffey, a Florida State University student who died in November 2017 due to hazing.

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