Disciplinary Hearings in New York City
COLLEGE SEXUAL ASSAULT & CAMPUS DISCIPLINE DEFENSE: THE ACCUSED’S RIGHTS AT THE HEARING
Whenever a student stands accused of sexual misconduct or assault by their school, they are due a fair hearing. But what procedures or treatment many might think of as fair may not be what is given nor required of the university or private boarding high school when contemplating sanctions. Significantly, public university students possess some measure of constitutional due process rights at these hearings while their peers – enrolled at private or religious educational institutions– do not. When specific procedural rights are offered at these hearings, they are always less than the “full panoply of due process rights” afforded to defendants in a criminal case. Kickertz v. New York Univ., 25 N.Y.3d 942, 944 (2015).
In the experience of top New York City student defense attorneys, those due process rights that may be absent from your school’s disciplinary proceeding can include:
- The right to cross-examine the complainant and other witnesses.
- The right to an unbiased panel.
- The right to be presumed innocent.
- The right to be convicted only upon a substantial showing of proof of guilt.
- The right to have your attorney participate at the hearing.
- The right to appeal the disciplinary committee’s findings to the school’s dean or other person of authority.
Repercussions For an Unfavorable Finding Can Be Devastating
For those found to have committed sexual misconduct by their school, serious repercussions are the result. Most schools impose their most severe sanction – expulsion – when sexual misconduct is found to have been committed by one of their students. When that occurs, the evidence collected by the university may be delivered to local prosecutors who may then use that evidence against you or your son in criminal proceedings where the potential punishment is even greater: incarceration and potentially registration as a state sex offender. In short, the consequences of an adverse decision by the school at a disciplinary hearing where sexual misconduct is alleged can be life-altering. Ensure that the hearing is fair and that your version of events and defenses are heard by appearing with top New York City campus discipline attorneys at the hearing. Schedule a consultation with one of ours today.
If you have been accused of sexual assault or rape by another student, it’s imperative to know your rights as they are provided by the school. Read the university handbook; most have what is known as a Student Bill of Rights. Go over them with retained counsel and discuss how they may affect your strategy when defending the sexual assault complaint filed at your school. For those interested in more general information, additional passages by us and other credible student rights organizations are readily available here and here.