For Student Respondents
At what stage of the disciplinary process should I call an attorney?
While you may be reluctant to consult with an attorney due to the formality or the costs, you should not underestimate the fact that your education is on the line. Ideally, you should call a college disciplinary lawyer as soon as you receive notice that you are being charged with a violation of your school's policies. The sooner you call a college disciplinary lawyer, the more time she has to help in your defense. Working with an experienced college disciplinary lawyer will prove to be a good investment in your education future.
I have been accused of sexual assault. Do I need a criminal attorney?
You should consult with a criminal attorney if the criminal justice system has been involved in this process, and/or you are facing criminal charges. However, if your sexual assault charge is at the school level only, you will instead want to involve an attorney with experience in Title IX, education laws, and college disciplinary matters. This attorney's unique insight will provide you with the assistance you need to ensure your strongest defense.
My college does not allow attorneys to speak during the disciplinary process, so why do I need one?
Many colleges do not allow attorneys to speak throughout the process. However, an attorney's presence during the meetings, interviews and hearing process can prove vital to your defense. The attorney's observations and insight will help you develop your defense strategy. Also, much of the attorney's advocacy occurs behind-the-scenes. An experienced college disciplinary lawyer will engage in phone calls, drafting, strategy and the development of your defense.
Do I have a defense if there are no witnesses to the event in question?
In cases involving charges of sexual misconduct, there are generally no witnesses other than you and the complainant. There are still ways to present a defense, for example, based on witnesses from before and after the alleged incident. An experienced college disciplinary lawyer will understand who is necessary and relevant to your defense.