Recently a story hit the national news about a college student who was arrested after falsely accusing two college football players of raping her – but not before the players were kicked off the team, lost their scholarships and withdrew from the school, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. Despite a plethora of evidence immediately available to school officials which made clear the “victim” was lying, the university managed to put the players through the school disciplinary system and find in the accuser’s favor. This case is a perfect example of how important it is for students charged in a school disciplinary action to immediately retain a top school discipline attorney to guide them through the maze of a college disciplinary hearing where the accused has significantly less rights than in a criminal case and where the standard of proof is unfairly low.
The Odds Are Stacked Against You In a School Disciplinary Proceeding
The female “victim” had claimed that while attending a party for the football team, two players pulled her into a bathroom, held her down and took turns sexually assaulting her. Her statement to the police had inconsistencies, witnesses claimed she had willingly gone into the bathroom with the two players and one witness overheard the woman telling the men she wanted to have sex with them – yet the school still managed to discipline the two men, ultimately destroying their college careers. This is the result of the very low “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof used in school disciplinary proceedings which means the trier of fact need only believe that the incident was more likely than not to have occurred – a trier of fact which is often very hair-trigger intolerant of anyone accused of a sexual offense on today’s politically correct campuses. Add to the mix that colleges do not permit accused students to confront their accusers with attorneys during disciplinary hearings and the end result is often the expulsion or suspension of wrongly accused students.
Being Charged With a School Disciplinary Offense Can Change Your Life — For the Worse
It is for all of these reasons – and the high stakes involved when a college student is accused of a crime or a disciplinary offense – that students even suspected of a crime or disciplinary offense on campus should immediately hire a top school disciplinary lawyer to accompany them and prepare them for their disciplinary hearing, whether the accusing school be NYU, Columbia, Fordham, St. Johns University, UConn or any school across the country. One of the biggest difficulties I find when dealing with students charged with a school disciplinary offense is their immediate paralysis and indecision on the issue of hiring an attorney. By the time they are capable of pulling the trigger it is often too late for a lawyer to make a difference: either the student has already lost his hearing and been disciplined or the opportunity to investigate the accusations and gather usable evidence to oppose the charge has disappeared. And the stakes are tremendously high: not only can students be suspended or expelled from school, lose scholarships or employment opportunities, but if the student is not a citizen a suspension or expulsion can result in deportation as well.
Call the Top New York and Connecticut School Disciplinary Attorneys Today
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman, we treat school disciplinary cases as if they are the most serious of criminal cases – because oftentimes the stakes are just as high. A school suspension or expulsion can wreak havoc on a student’s career, possibly ending it before it even starts. So hiring a top criminal attorney who also has successfully handled the most severe criminal cases, the most severe school disciplinary and sexual misconduct cases, makes sense. We will commit our resources toward an investigation which can result in charges being dismissed. In just the past year, our intensive investigations have caused the dismissal of sexual assault allegations in colleges across the country – and in some of these cases parallel criminal investigations were dropped as well.
Whether the issue is hazing on campus, academic cheating or sexual assault – the school discipline attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman can help you with your college or university school disciplinary charges today. Call us at (212) 581-1001 to discuss your case immediately.