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Evidentiary Standards in DC Campus Sex Crime Cases

Hearsay is a statement that is made outside of court by a third party that is introduced for its truth. In criminal cases, hearsay is not allowed. However, in a student disciplinary hearing, hearsay is often allowed. That becomes a problem because it allows unreliable information to be provided in a student disciplinary hearing.

A campus hearing does not have the same legal procedures as a criminal case. A defendant in a campus hearing does not have the same rights as if they are facing charges from the government. This is the case when it comes to sex crime charges. If you have any questions regarding evidentiary standards in DC campus sex crime cases, reach out to an attorney today. A seasoned campus sex crime attorney could advocate for you and help you throughout the process.

A Preponderance of Evidence vs. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

A preponderance of evidence is a standard of proof. A student disciplinary hearing has a much lower standard of proof than a criminal case. Student disciplinary hearings allow someone to be found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct based on the preponderance standard.

A similar standard is allowed in a civil case is a much lower standard of proof than in criminal cases that require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The highest legal standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In criminal cases, the government must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. However, campus hearings go by a preponderance of evidence instead. The evidentiary standards in DC campus sex crime cases are much lower than in a criminal case.

What is Yes Means Yes?

It is important to understand that Yes Means Yes legislation has no bearing outside a student disciplinary context. There is no law that requires yes means yes; this is a creation by universities that are incorporated into a student code of conduct. A violation of that standard does not yield a corresponding charge in criminal court. However, it could potentially result in sanctions by a school but no further consequences outside of the school could be imposed. Consult with a knowledgeable legal professional for more information.

How Low Evidentiary Standards Harm Innocent Defendants

The low standard of proof of the preponderance standard combined with a loose evidentiary admissions structure negatively affects people accused of violating a student code of conduct. In addition, many schools restrict the representation of students who are accused by not allowing lawyers in the room and not allowing lawyers to ask questions. This dilutes the process of the case.

It is crucial for a defendant to consult with a student defense attorney in a case that requires only a preponderance of evidence to result in a conviction because the deck is stacked against the student. When one does not have proper representation, such as an attorney who can help them address the issues present in a student disciplinary hearing, it becomes difficult to protect themselves and get a beneficial result.

Call today to learn more about evidentiary standards in DC campus sex crime cases and how a lawyer could help your situation.

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