What Kinds of Consequences Can I Face When Being Accused of Sexual Assault?

When a college student is accused of sexual assault and is found guilty in a hearing, higher education institutions generally carry out two types of punishments: suspension and expulsion. Each of these consequences is a big deal, and can completely foil the long term and short term goals students have set to complete college courses, further their education and join the workforce.

With so much at stake for the accused, it's important that students facing these allegations understand that these disciplinary actions can literally change the course of their future. Oftentimes, college students may not completely realize how serious these accusations are until they've been found responsible for sexual assault. They decided to prioritize studying for a test or writing an essay over making preparations for their hearing, which ultimately resulted in a suspension or expulsion. The accused must remember that missing a test or not turning in a few homework assignments may set you back in a course for a short time, but losing a hearing can completely demolish your entire college career.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, you should be aware of the consequences you face and what they entail.

Suspension

In recent years, schools have felt immense pressure from state and federal governments to handle sexual assault cases more assertively. Since this emphasis on school disciplinary procedures has been reinstated, schools don't suspend respondents as frequently as they used to. Nonetheless, the repercussions of a suspension from a school are still dire. For students who wish to continue their education at another institution -whether it be medical school, law school, grad school etc. - details about their suspension will be included in their disciplinary history. This could hinder schools from accepting a respondent. But for students who plan on completing their education at the institution that suspended them, they will have to deal with being set back for a substantial amount of time.

Within the duration of a suspension, respondents are encouraged to remain active. Volunteering at a food bank to help the poor, getting an internship or finding other ways to be a productive and contributing member of society could prove to be beneficial.

Expulsion

In the event that a student is expelled, they will share the concerns of a suspended student when it comes to the sexual assault on their educational records and transcripts. The major difference between a suspension and an expulsion is that respondents who are expelled will be forced to apply to a new school for their undergraduate degree. And unfortunately, nearly every school that receives an application will eventually be informed that you were expelled.

A school's decision to accept you oftentimes depends on the details included in your records. If information about the finding includes documents that contain lots of incriminating evidence and emotionally charged accounts of the incident, a school is less likely to accept your application. However, a previous institution's findings contain information about the incident that is less detailed and vague, you have a better chance of being accepted.

Experienced Defense Attorney

Either way you slice it, being found responsible for a sexual assault on a college campus is a serious matter. Before having to face the reality of being expelled or suspended, you should contact a skilled attorney, who could exponentially maximize your chances of a favorable outcome. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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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.

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