Students who have been accused of sexual assault often times worry about the repercussions that could interfere with the continuation of their educational career. Some of them primarily focus on the possibility of a suspension or expulsion as a result of being found responsible for a case. However, some of these students fail to acknowledge the legal ramifications of sexual assault allegations - either out of denial or naivety - that could have lasting effects on their entire life.
Although there is a possibility of criminal charges along with sexual assault allegations, they likelihood of a criminal prosecution ensuing is incredibly low, especially when there isn't a large pool of evidence that proves the accused is guilty. Schools tend to take action in response to incidents that would not be constituted as a crime by the criminal justice system. And they do so in an effort to alleviate the pressure they feel from federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education.
For example, colleges investigate cases where a student may be accused of sexual assault for touching another student “inappropriately” during the course of an otherwise consensual massage, or a college may investigate a case involving students who had consensually engaged in sexual activities, but one party regretted this decision, leading them to file charges months later. In cases of this nature, it would be difficult for a prosecutor to convince a jury that a crime had occurred in these situations.
Although the prosecution of accused college students is relatively rare, whether a prosecutor decides to take on a case as a crime is based solely on his or her discretion. But this doesn't change the fact that criminal charges are sometimes filed and some students are prosecuted as a result of sexual assault allegations.
When criminal charges are filed, respondents need legal assistance immediately. With the help of an attorney who is dedicated to minimizing the possibility of a criminal conviction, the chances of student evading these charges and facing criminal penalties are heightened. In these cases, many attorneys advise respondents to stay quiet because anything they say can be used against them in a court of law. This is very good advice in some cases, but there are additional tips that could prove to be useful when criminal charges are involved. If you are a college student who has acquired criminal charges following allegations of sexual assault, here are a few pointers:
Some schools require the accused to make a statement, despite the fact the fact that you have been advised to keep quiet. It's important to understand that making a statement about what occurred is not an admission of guilt unless you say something that incriminates you. However, making sure that your story is consistent before anything is said would be wise. After all, everything you say will most likely be documented and brought up again in a criminal trial.
The easiest way to be consistent is to tell your accounts of events the exact way you remember it happening. When people make up intricate lies it is easier for them to forget what they said at one point in time and contradict themselves. Telling the truth is a foolproof way of keeping your story straight and not being perceived as a liar by school authorities and more importantly, a prosecutor.
Experienced Defense Attorney
Every allegation is extremely individualized and every case will likely be approached differently. However, a lawyer will be extremely beneficial in these cases. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.