Appealing A Sexual Assault Case

What if I Need to Appeal a Case?

If you have already lost a hearing and are in the midst of disciplinary actions, know that it isn’t the end.  Even if you have been suspended or expelled, there are actions you can take.  It is best to move quickly as college campuses are swift and their disciplinary actions are severe.

Find the Grounds to Appeal

Your school’s code of conduct should detail the grounds under which you can appeal.  Nearly every higher educational institution gives the accused the right to appeal.  The experience of an attorney is critical.  An appeal can be written in a way that maximizes the chance of it being accepted.  An attorney can review your school’s code of conduct and craft a letter based on their experience.  They know exactly what to write.  Attempting to write this yourself and making any mistakes can inadvertently make the school dismiss your request.

The following few reasons are common grounds for an appeal:

Not Enough Substantial Evidence

In a game of “he said, she said”, it is crucial to identify gaps in the evidence.  A school will often allow an appeal if the accused can convincingly articulate why their case would be handled differently in front of a reasonable panel.

Unfair Actions

Violations of the school’s code of conduct in favor of the accused are common unfair actions, but this term is not limited to codes and laws.  The accused needs to be informed properly, and to be given enough time to adequately prepare themselves for the hearing.  Schools are under immense pressure from the Department of Education to close a case quickly.  Doing so can rob the accused of their fair chance to gather the evidence they need for their case.

Failure of the School to Follow Policies

This is the most common reason for appeals.  Hearings should be conducted according to the rules in the school’s code of conduct.  Any deviation from these rules is grounds for an appeal.

Harsh Punishments

Sexual assault does not necessarily involve intercourse, but the disciplinary action will most likely be just as severe.  An accused student can argue that the sanctions placed against them far exceed the what should have been done because the incident was not severe.

Manchester & Associates Defense

Even if you have lost your hearing, it is not too late.  Contact Manchester & Associates today for help if you are suffering under college disciplinary sanctions.