At a time like this, it’s normal to be frightened of what might happen, and it’s understandable to be worried and fearful for the future. These things can have life-defining impact, and you’re rightfully concerned about how it might affect the rest of your college career. And then there’s graduate school, and chances for future employment. And your parents.
And it’s also no time to guess, or to rely on what school officials advise. Or even worse, to follow the advice of a friend that went through something similar. However well-intended their advice may be, you need a professional to get the facts, gather information and offer experienced help. You may or may not need a lawyer, but you need legal advice and guidance - right away.
Begin with complete and total understanding of how serious the charge is, what the potential punishments could be, and how best to help yourself. My advice is to speak with someone that can provide all of that. We’re available to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your initial phone consultation is at no charge. Call me. It’s what we do.
Bad advice and anecdotal wisdom, even with good intentions from a trusted the source, is what you don’t need. Friends and family may think they know how things work and how things will go, but they don’t. In fairness, many lawyers wouldn’t know, either, because they haven’t defended accused parties at decades of hearings at dozens of institutions.
Your rights and ability to defend yourself are whatever the educational institution say they are. It’s not a court of law. People judging you aren’t qualified and fairness is no sure thing.
You can’t trust the school to handle your case fairly. Or trust the school to issue a fair and just punishment.
Legal advice is your best chance for the best outcome.
Don’t expect the protections you’d find in a court of law; school disciplinary proceedings are very different. Schools aren’t concerned with due process. Accused parties often have limited ability to defend themselves. A panel decides your fate – employees and students. They’re essentially untrained and, if school employees, hardly impartial.
Beginning your defense.
Experienced legal advice is urgently needed if you want a fair hearing and just results. But these cases are fast-moving so you have to understand that you’re in a fluid, right-now situation. I get to work right away and as soon as I’m hired I take immediate action:
- We will meet or have an extensive audio or video call.
- I’ll instruct you not to communicate in any way with school personnel or anyone involved in the incident until we’ve constructed a strategy to deal with the school.
- We’ll discuss the incident in depth so I fully understand what happened, to begin to crafting your defense.
- I determine if there is evidence to gather, witness statements to take, or if a private investigator experienced in working in the college environment is required.
- I will undertake a comprehensive review of the School’s Code of Conduct.
Defending Your Rights and Protecting Your Future, from Pre-Hearing to Hearing to Appeal.