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Am I Required to Speak with University Police About an Assault Allegation?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Thanks to procedural police dramas, many college students are aware of the rights they enjoy when interacting with police. When they are stopped by police or accused of a crime, they have likely heard of their right to remain silent. Not all students understand whether this right applies to campus police, however.

Students facing allegations of sexual misconduct have to walk a tightrope when it comes to these situations. While they are under no obligation to speak with law enforcement about allegations of sexual assault, their failure to address questions from the university can work against them in a disciplinary hearing. Campus police understand these challenges and often point to the threat of expulsion to convince a student to talk about their case. This can complicate matters further by opening the student up to a criminal investigation.

You Do Not Have to Speak with Campus Police

Just like with any law enforcement entities, you are under no obligation to speak with campus police. While they may appear more like security guards than actual law enforcement officers, most campus police departments are empowered to make criminal arrests. This means you could be incriminating yourself by discussing your case with them.

In fact, no one from the university can compel you to talk speak about an accusation. You cannot be held in contempt or arrested for failing to comply with their requests. That does not mean there are no consequences.

Using Your Silence Against You

While the campus police cannot force you to answer their questions, the university can use your silence against you. Title IX requires school policy to allow both accusers and accused to be heard, but your failure to answer questions or testify at a hearing. You can count on the accuser telling their story during your investigation, and their story will be the only one that will be heard if you fail to take part in the process. While this can protect you from incriminating yourself in a manner that could lead to a conviction, you are unlikely to get the result you want during your disciplinary hearing.

The Value of Experienced Legal Counsel

Thankfully, you do not have to choose between defending yourself at your disciplinary hearing or avoiding criminal prosecution. Like with a criminal case, you are entitled to the assistance of legal counsel during your Title IX hearing.

Your attorney can assist you with fighting back in your disciplinary proceeding without endangering your future with potential criminal charges. With the right attorney, you could obtain a favorable outcome in your Title IX hearing while avoiding criminal charges entirely.

Working with Joseph D. Lento

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than 10 years of experience fighting for students accused of Title IX violations. During the course of his career, he has helped students, faculty, and others protect their education and career.

If you are ready to discuss your defense options, contact Joseph D. Lento online or call his office at 888-535-3686 to schedule your free consultation right away.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at universities and colleges across the United States while concurrently fighting in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand universities and colleges across the United States. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website.  In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County.  In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County,  In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties.  Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law.  The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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