New York City and the surrounding counties are home to some of the premier high schools, colleges, and universities, none of which are immune from expelling or suspending students after a Title IX investigation, Dean’s Discipline hearing or other code of conduct violation for sexual harassment, gender-based violence, possessing drugs or even cheating on exams.
While a seasoned criminal defense attorney is there for a state or federal arrest, the same can be said for disciplinary actions taking place in the school setting. Title IX actions, though outside of the criminal justice system, carry just as much significance and can lead to permanent, lifelong consequences if not handled correctly. Strategically, many schools fail to inform an individual accused of misconduct that he or she has the right to an attorney during these proceedings. And, not only does the individual have a right, but it would be a costly mistake to move forward without a criminal defense attorney representing you against administrative overreach.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney at this stage is crucial for two main reasons. First, an attorney can properly guide and defend you through a school disciplinary hearing or Title IX action. Ideally, your attorney will fight back, show that you did not commit what you are being accused of, walking you away from the matter unscathed. In the event some level of wrongdoing or misconduct is revealed, a criminal defense attorney can mitigate the damages and will work thoroughly to ensure that your permanent record remains clear, allowing you to proceed seamlessly with your education and future employment prospects.
Second, a criminal defense attorney at this stage will also work to limit your potential criminal exposure. Many times, at the inception of these investigations, school officials will also notify the proper authorities, whether that be the NYPD or even the FBI. Of course, this opens you up to a potential arrest and prosecution. Stemming off criminal charges is of the utmost importance, and a well-respected criminal defense attorney will give you the best chance of avoiding a prosecution.
Outside of being prevented from attending certain classes, being in specific buildings, and adhering to an order of protection for violations of campus rules, you can also be removed from school altogether. Foreign nationals possessing a student visa such as an F1 have further concerns because if they are suspended or expelled, their status at the school may be terminated.
Whether you are facing disciplinary action for cheating, public intoxication, harassment, sexual assault, or drug possession on campus, the potential consequences and ramifications will be serious. Do not be misguided or ignorant even if your alleged wrongdoing does not ultimately transition into the criminal justice system. The entire process is sensitive and serious, and representing yourself as opposed to having a criminal defense attorney by your side will lead to lifelong consequences.
If you are being investigated by your school, are facing a disciplinary hearing or appeal, or find yourself in Title IX litigation, do not hesitate to reach out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney. This process is delicate, and intimate, and can result in severe, permanent penalties should it be handled incorrectly. These missteps can even lead to criminal prosecution and potential jail time, as well as a criminal record.
Whether you are accused of criminal conduct or “merely” a violation of college or university policy, our firm treats the matters the same. It is imperative that your attorney, without hesitation, begins a counter-investigation by identifying witnesses, locating corroborative evidence, and mounting a mitigation defense if warranted. Just because there may not be a threat of an arrest, a Title IX hearing, or a university disciplinary investigation deserves immediate attention.
The sooner you put your matter in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island like us, the more likely it will end favorably.