College Sexual Misconduct Advisor - Florida

The presumption of innocence states that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. For college students accused of sexual misconduct, however, that is rarely the case. Universities often move swiftly during sexual misconduct cases. In many cases, the speedy investigation process comes at the expense of the defendant. Federal law prohibits various forms of sexual misconduct on college campuses under the grounds of gender discrimination. As a result, schools that do not investigate and punish misconduct can be stripped of federal funding. To appease federal agencies, universities may take the side of the accuser regardless of the facts of the case. Here is what you need to know about sexual misconduct policies and how they can impact those who are accused.

Defining Sexual Misconduct

The Department of Education requires universities to investigate all forms of sexual misconduct to ensure students can pursue discrimination-free education. But what constitutes sexual misconduct? Recent regulations made by the Department of Education changed the scope and definition of the term.

The narrow definition of sexual misconduct is now limited to sexual assault (including rape), domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation. The policy states that quid pro quo sexual harassment, like promising benefits for sexual conduct, is also prohibited. A key change to this definition is that it applies to “severe or pervasive” sexual harassment and not “severe and pervasive.” The new ruling also excludes “sexual exploitation” and “improper conduct related to sex” from its policies.

New Changes to Investigations

The new regulations impact how universities handle their sexual misconduct investigations. Once an allegation is made, schools must investigate it through a live hearing. This process includes cross-examinations of witnesses, defendants, and complainants. Those who refuse to participate in the live hearing will not be able to use their information in the investigation. The Department of Education intends to provide due process to students accused of assault by implementing this policy.

The new rules also limit where sexual misconduct can occur in order to warrant investigation. The Department of Education requires investigations for conduct on campus and all areas of operation of the school. This provision includes off-campus houses that are controlled by the university. Fraternity and sorority houses are included under this rule. Off-campus housing not controlled by the university, such as a rented house or apartment, are not included. They also do not consider acts made outside the U.S., such as those by students who are participating in study abroad programs.

University Policies in Florida

Although the new regulations must be adopted by colleges across the country, schools may still choose to implement additional sexual misconduct policies. As a result, students may face discipline for acts not covered by the new Department of Education regulations. Many colleges have already created two separate misconduct policies: a Title IX policy and a university sexual misconduct policy. This is to comply with the federal regulations while also punishing conduct outside of the narrow scope. Florida schools may soon follow suit.

The new regulations also face backlash from key legal groups. Attorneys general in Florida and 13 other states filed a brief in support of the Department of Education's new regulations. This comes in response to 18 Attorneys general filing suit against the department. In Florida, as in other states, sexual misconduct policies are a hot button issue. It is important to note that even if the new policy remains unchanged, new rules may emerge at a university level.

Choosing an Attorney as Your Advisor

Federal law allows accusers and the accused to select an advisor in sexual misconduct cases. Accused students may select anyone to be their advisor, including school faculty, a parent, or an acquaintance. While they have many different options, their best opportunity to build a strong defense is to select an attorney. Attorneys are armed with the legal knowledge and experience necessary to navigate a sexual misconduct investigation.

In many cases, schools will offer students the choice to use a school advisor to represent them. These advisors can help students navigate the complexities of the investigation process. While they might seem like a good option, advisors aren't always on the student's side. Since they are employed by the school, they can give any information you tell them to university staff. This not only destroys your confidentiality, but they can use this information against you in both the investigation and a criminal trial.

If you or someone you know is accused of sexual misconduct, it's crucial to hire an attorney. Lawyers know the correct steps to take and how best to defend your rights. An attorney will guide you on steps to take to get the best possible outcome in your investigation. Not only do they have critical legal knowledge, they can help you understand confusing jargon and key provisions in your university's policy as well.

What an Attorney Can Do for You

Unfortunately, universities don't always play fair when it comes to their investigations. The Department of Education routinely investigates schools who mishandle cases of sexual assault. To avoid being investigated or defunded, schools may not give accused students a fair opportunity to prove their innocence. Some universities have stripped away the rights of a fair investigation from students accused of sexual misconduct. Attorneys can ensure their clients aren't kept in the dark or inappropriately denied their rights. They can even write a litigation hold to threaten a school if they have evidence the student is being treated unfairly.

Legal advisors also work to prepare you for an investigation. Before a sexual misconduct investigation, you will meet with a campus coordinator in order to give your side of the story. You'll have to make an official statement and go through questioning from the university, a panel, or the accuser's team. This can be an intimidating experience, especially for students with little to no experience in investigations or hearings. An attorney will guide you through this to help you avoid pitfalls of other accused students. They can give you strategies to ensure you don't incriminate yourself and to keep your story consistent.

Your Experienced Florida College Sexual Misconduct Advisor

The Lento Law Firm has worked on hundreds of sexual misconduct cases. For many years, attorney Joseph D. Lento has fought to defend students and protect them from being taken advantage of by their university. If you or someone you know is being accused of sexual misconduct, schedule a consultation today by calling 888-535-3686.

Florida colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's college sexual misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:

  • Acupuncture and Massage College
  • AI Miami International University of Art and Design
  • American InterContinental University South Florida
  • Argosy University Sarasota
  • Argosy University Tampa
  • Ave Maria University
  • Aviator College of Aeronautical Science and Technology
  • Barry University
  • Beacon College
  • Bethune Cookman University
  • Brevard Community College
  • Broward College
  • Brown Mackie College Miami
  • Carlos Albizu University Miami
  • CBT College Cutler Bay
  • Centura Institute
  • Chamberlain College of Nursing Florida
  • Chipola College
  • City College Altamonte Springs
  • City College Fort Lauderdale
  • City College Gainesville
  • City College Miami
  • College of Business and Technology Flagler
  • College of Business and Technology Hialeah
  • College of Business and Technology Kendall
  • College of Central Florida
  • Daytona State College
  • DeVry University Florida
  • Digital Media Arts College
  • Eckerd College
  • Edison State College
  • Edward Waters College
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide
  • Everest Institute Fort Lauderdale
  • Everest Institute Hialeah
  • Everest Institute Kendall
  • Everest Institute North Miami
  • Everest University Brandon
  • Everest University Jacksonville
  • Everest University Lakeland
  • Everest University Largo
  • Everest University Melbourne
  • Everest University North Orlando
  • Everest University Orange Park
  • Everest University Pompano Beach
  • Everest University South Orlando
  • Everest University Tampa
  • Everglades University
  • Flagler College St Augustine
  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Career College Clearwater
  • Florida Career College Miami
  • Florida Christian College
  • Florida College
  • Florida Gateway College
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida International University
  • Florida Keys Community College
  • Florida Memorial University
  • Florida National College Main Campus
  • Florida Southern College
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Florida State University
  • Fortis College
  • Fortis College Largo
  • Fortis College Miami
  • Fortis College Tampa
  • Fortis College Winter Park
  • Fortis Institute Pensacola
  • Full Sail University
  • Golf Academy of America Altamonte Springs
  • Gulf Coast State College
  • Herzing University Winter Park
  • Hillsborough Community College
  • Hobe Sound Bible College
  • Hodges University
  • Indian River State College
  • International Academy of Design and Technology Online
  • International Academy of Design and Technology Orlando
  • International Academy of Design and Technology Tampa
  • ITT Technical Institute Fort Lauderdale
  • ITT Technical Institute Fort Myers
  • ITT Technical Institute Jacksonville
  • ITT Technical Institute Lake Mary
  • ITT Technical Institute Miami
  • ITT Technical Institute Orlando
  • ITT Technical Institute St. Petersburg
  • ITT Technical Institute Tallahassee
  • ITT Technical Institute Tampa
  • ITT Technical Institute University Park
  • Jacksonville University
  • Johnson & Wales University North Miami
  • Jones College Jacksonville
  • Jose Maria Vargas University
  • Keiser University
  • Key College
  • Lake Sumter Community College
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Orlando
  • Lincoln College of Technology West Palm Beach
  • Lynn University
  • Medvance Institute Fort Lauderdale
  • Medvance Institute Miami
  • Medvance Institute West Palm
  • Miami Ad School Miami Beach
  • Miami Dade College
  • Millennia Atlantic University
  • New College of Florida
  • North Florida Community College
  • Northwest Florida State College
  • Northwood University Florida
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach
  • Palm Beach State College
  • Pasco Hernando Community College
  • Pensacola State College
  • Polk State College
  • Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico Miami Campus
  • Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico Orlando
  • Remington College
  • Remington College Tampa Campus
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Rollins College
  • Saint John Vianney College Seminary
  • Saint Johns River State College
  • Saint Leo University
  • Saint Thomas University
  • Sanford Brown Institute Ft Lauderdale
  • Sanford Brown Institute Jacksonville
  • Sanford Brown Institute Orlando
  • Sanford Brown Institute Tampa
  • Santa Fe College
  • Schiller International University
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary
  • South Florida Community College
  • South University Tampa
  • South University West Palm Beach
  • Southeastern College
  • Southeastern College
  • Southeastern University
  • Southwest Florida College
  • St Petersburg College
  • State College of Florida Manatee Sarasota
  • Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville Inc. Jacksonville
  • Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville Inc. Orlando
  • Stetson University
  • Tallahassee Community College
  • Talmudic College of Florida
  • Taylor College
  • The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
  • The Baptist College of Florida
  • The University of Tampa
  • The University of West Florida
  • Trinity Baptist College
  • Trinity College of Florida
  • Trinity International University Florida
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Fort Lauderdale
  • University of Miami
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Phoenix Central Florida Campus
  • University of Phoenix North Florida Campus
  • University of Phoenix South Florida Campus
  • University of Phoenix West Florida Campus
  • University of South Florida Main Campus
  • University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus
  • Valencia College
  • Virginia College Jacksonville
  • Virginia College Pensacola
  • Warner University
  • Webber International University
  • Yeshivah Gedolah Rabbinical College

It is critical to make certain the college sexual misconduct investigation at your Florida school is handled properly and that the accused student's interests are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process.  One major reason is because even at colleges and universities where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused is found responsible or not responsible for college sexual misconduct charges.

Unfortunately, some students, families, and college employees make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct at college.  Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their college or university will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth.  In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct cases would not exist.

Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused's academic and professional future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a college sexual misconduct advisor to students and others in academia facing sexual misconduct investigations and Title IX disciplinary cases in Florida and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National College Sexual Misconduct Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 or by completing our online form.

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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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