In recent years, the public eye has been gaining focus on assault and sexual assault cases arising from university and college campuses. While it is clearly beneficial to encourage safe educational institutions and environments, it is equally beneficial to ensure that social stigma and biases do not unfairly damage the reputations and wellbeing of the accused.
Other than the usual criminal penalties tied to an assault case, such as time spent in jail, fines to the state, and restitution fees paid to the accuser, a university student accused of assaulting a fellow student can have their entire future decimated before it even gets a chance to begin. An accusation, not even necessarily a conviction, can remove them from shared classes, dormitories, and even the entire campus through expulsion. Strong evidence or not, the penalties can come swiftly and heavily. But why? Shouldn’t there be a legal process in place to defend them? Innocent until proven guilty, right?
University Administrations Acting as the Law
Depending on the circumstances outlined in an assault accusation between two students, the police are not always called to investigate or make an arrest. Sometimes the matter is handled entirely by the faculty, who can dole out punishment as it sees fit. Since people are highly sensitive to the issue of sexual assault on campus, the end result is usually penalizing for the accused before they can even make a case to defend themselves. Due to the fact that it is an administrative punishment and not a criminal one, no trial is necessary, and the university is free to act as it wishes.
In order to defend themselves from the consequences of an overzealous administration, students accused of assault, or any sort of crime for that matter, should still pair up with a seasoned criminal defense attorney, whether criminal charges are being filed or not. With the insight and guidance of a legal professional by their sides, they may be able to slow down the faculty’s decision-making process and defend their rights.
If you are attending a college or university in Texas and have been accused of assault on campus, let Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Samuel R. Terry know. With his help, you may be able to keep your right to further your education. If the case escalates to criminal charges and a courtroom trial, he can be there to defend you from the law as well. Contact his firm today to set up a free case evaluation.