In Illinois, the crime of hazing is defined by 720 ILCS 5/12C-50 as follows:
(a) A person commits hazing when he or she knowingly requires the performance of any act by a student or other person in a school, college, university, or other educational institution of this State, for the purpose of induction or admission into any group, organization, or society associated or connected with that institution, if:
(1) the act is not sanctioned or authorized by that educational institution; and
(2) the act results in bodily harm to any person.
(b) Sentence. Hazing is a Class A misdemeanor, except that hazing that results in death or great bodily harm is a Class 4 felony.
Hazing is broadly defined by Illinois law, and the penalties can be severe. The Class A misdemeanor version of hazing carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in the county jail, while the Class 4 felony version can result in a prison term of 1-3 years.
In addition to the possible criminal penalties, a person who is charged with hazing may find themselves facing disciplinary action from their school or university, as well as a civil lawsuit. Given the possible criminal penalties and other consequences, a person accused of hazing should remain silent and seek an attorney at once.