If a person is charged for a college crime, they can face lifelong consequences, including getting expelled from school and a permanent criminal record. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell we help defend students against these college crimes, but we find that all too often these cases are not handled fairly.
We find that students are not always sure how to respond to the charges and do not know what their rights of due process are. Some students simply leave the college without a fight, while others get expelled or suspended for a long period of time without having a chance to defend themselves. Some alleged college criminals acted in response to a serious mental health issue such as PTSD or anxiety. Keep reading to find out why colleges often do not respond correctly to these charges and what you can do about it.
Colleges Responses to Charges are Far from Consistent
One of the issues with these crimes is that schools react very differently to charges of Title IX crimes. Some will expel students with no hearing, while others will follow the rules of hearings to a T. Some schools may require that a student be suspended from all student organizations while a hearing is pending.
The Obama Administration provided a 2011 communication in which they offered guidance for the steps schools should take when handling these cases. The communication suggested:
- Adjudication for alleged sex crimes should be considered to the preponderance of evidence. This is the lowest burden of proof and allows for a conviction when the school considers it more likely than not that the person committed the crime, rather than the more significant proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Loss of federal funds if a school does not comply with these rules.
- A single investigator is appointed to consider allegations.
- Retention of public list of schools that have Title IX violations.
- Restrictions on the ability o the accuser to question the victim.
- The strengthening of sexual harassment to include conduct that may or may not be seen as objectively unreasonable.
- Full investigations of all reports of sexual misconduct, even when the charges are brought forward by a third party and the alleged victim chooses not to cooperate with the investigator.
These rules are not uniformly followed by all schools in the country or by all schools in the State of California. As a result, students cannot always be sure of how their case will be handled.
Work with an Attorney for All Aspects of a College Crime Allegation
Even if you are not facing criminal charges but are only facing the college disciplnary board, you have a right to work with an attorney. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell we specialize in college crimes and are standing by to help you find the right defense in your hearing. Call us now to request a free consultation.