Student Legal Services
College students are not children, but they may not be completely mature either. They may be free from their parents’ control for the first time. They may make mistakes and get charged with a crime. There are many different kinds of campus crimes, including forcible sex crimes, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault, burglary, and robbery. If you or your child has been charged with a college campus crime in the area around Sarasota, it is crucial to retain a skillful Sarasota college campus crime lawyer to provide representation. Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law vigorously fights for the rights of the accused.Laws Governing College Campuses
Fifteen colleges lie within 50 miles of Sarasota. For example, Ringling College of Art and Design is 1.5 miles from the center of Sarasota, and New College of Florida is three miles from the center of Sarasota. There are also several community colleges in the area.
Certain federal laws may apply to campus crimes. For example, under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, colleges and universities around the country must disclose information about crimes perpetrated on or around their campuses in order for the institution to participate in federal student financial aid programs.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is another federal law, and it regulates the confidentiality of student records. There are provisions in FERPA that permit information to be shared with the police under certain circumstances. For example, under the emergency exception, when a school perceives a significant, articulable threat under the totality of the circumstances and documents the threat in a student's records access log, it may share the records without either the student or their parents' consent. A college campus crime attorney can advise Sarasota families on the impact of FERPA.
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, another federal law, mandates that colleges and universities issue statements letting campus communities know where law enforcement agency information about registered sex offenders can be obtained. When a sex offender or predator is employed or is a student at an institute of higher learning, notice needs to be given to appropriate state officials.Defenses to College Campus Crimes
Sometimes campus crimes result from mistakes in judgment. For example, a student may not realize that someone else is drunk and cannot give valid consent to sex. They may be charged with rape or another sex crime. Or a student may go into another student's dorm room to borrow a computer, intending to return it later, and be charged with burglary or another theft crime.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to retain an experienced Sarasota college campus crime attorney as soon as possible. Often, students do not take allegations as seriously as they should. They may make unwise statements to the administration of the college, and those statements could later be used against them in criminal proceedings. Furthermore, campuses may struggle with when to involve the police. To the extent that campus law enforcement or security units create and keep records of possible illegal activity, those records are not protected by FERPA and can be shared with the police.
What needs to be established in connection with a college campus crime depends on the specific crime that is being charged. Likewise, the type of defense that is appropriate to raise will hinge on the specific crime being charged. For example, if a prosecutor is trying to prove that you raped another college student, they will need to show that you non-consensually penetrated that person orally, anally, or vaginally with an object or a sex organ. In that case, your attorney may try to prove that the penetration was consensual or that the accuser is not telling a credible story.Consult a Skillful College Campus Crime Lawyer in the Sarasota Area
It can be terrifying when a college student is arrested. Parents may despair about the possibility that their child's future may be permanently harmed. If you or your child are charged with a college campus crime, you should talk to Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law. Call us at 941.462.1789 or complete our online form.