Has Your School Charged You with Sexual Assault?
If you are charged with any violation of your school’s student code of conduct, including sexual assault, this is a life emergency! K Altman Law’s experienced team of sexual assault lawyers and educators know the stakes are high.
An allegation of student misconduct such as sexual assault is very serious. It’s perhaps the most serious thing that could happen in your student career. Successful defense against the allegation is critical, now. A finding of sexual violence may haunt you for years to come.
K Altman Law’s team of experienced Title IX sexual assault attorneys and educators represents students in these circumstances. If you are charged with a violation of student conduct like sexual assault, you need a lawyer that’s experienced in defending students. Ask any lawyer with whom you consult about their success in defending a student accused of sexual assault. Unfortunately, few legal teams achieve successful outcomes for their student or educator clients facing these allegations.
Violations to your school’s code of conduct
Your school, college, or university may encourage you to admit a violation to the student code of conduct. Realize that if you admit to a violation or if you’re determined to have violated the student code of conduct, you will receive sanctions. You may face suspension or expulsion from your school in that case.
Let’s say you’re a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). If you’re dismissed after a finding of sexual assault at this University of California campus, you won’t be admitted to an undergrad, graduate, professional, or doctoral program offered at any campus within the UC system. Moreover:
Sanctions are recorded on your college transcript or in your personal disciplinary file.
Some schools retain this information on your file for up to seven years (UCSB Student Conduct Code) or forever.
Graduate schools, law schools, medical schools, nursing programs, and future employers may review your transcript and disciplinary files. When you sign an application to enroll in an academic program or to work as an employee, you give permission to release your academic and/or disciplinary files.
Sexual assault or sexual harassment charges can change your life
When you apply to a graduate program or professional school or to a state bar association after law school, or when you apply to a government agency or private employer, you agree to allow the school, employer, or bar association to request a letter of clearance from your school’s Dean of Students. This Letter of Certification verifies that you didn’t violate any policy of the school and you weren’t subject to any form of disciplinary sanctions as a student.
Should you lie about sanctions or violations, your graduate, professional school, state bar association, or employer can request that you withdraw from school or resign from your job.
Fallout from your school’s sanctions can happen years later, like a ripple effect. At any point in your academic, business, or professional career, your prior dishonesty, deceit, representation, or fraud may cause embarrassment, job loss, lost credentials (e.g. revoked degrees or licenses), or a shattered career. Your fraud or misrepresentation may be published in a national newspaper or online.
Your reputation and future are at stake. Anyone can make a mistake. A weekend of partying can result in a devastating and abrupt end to your academic career.
For these reasons and others, you need an experienced legal and educational team in your corner.
What happens in a Student Disciplinary hearing?
A student disciplinary hearing does not occur in a domestic court. Student disciplinary proceedings occur at your school, college, or university. If things don’t go well at the hearing, you may receive sanctions for violating your school’s student code of conduct.
What happens next?
You have another chance if you choose to do forward. Your school provides to receive an appeal of the decision at the hearing. Usually, the appeal argument is limited to stating that evidence presented at the hearing does not support the conclusion, that proper procedures were not followed, the severity of the sanction is disproportionate to the violation, or that new (discovered after the hearing) evidence is available now.
Our experienced student defense team will prepare an appeal that paves the way to reduce sanctions or overturn the decision.
Is there recourse after an Appeal to the Student Disciplinary proceeding?
There is another opportunity if the school’s disciplinary board rejects an appeal.
K Altman Law’s team of lawyers and educators may ask the Superior Court to overturn the school’s decision. We may argue that the evidence presented at the disciplinary hearing was insubstantial and ask the court to remove any sanctions imposed.
Allegations of sexual assault are serious. Contact Attorney Keith Altman at 248-987-8929 or email SD@kaltmanlaw.com.