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Understanding Consequences for Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Posted on May 17, 2023 in Sex Crimes

College is a time for discovering yourself, experiencing new things and having fun. However, sometimes, things can go too far or misunderstandings can occur. In a social setting that may involve alcohol, peer pressure and hazing, sexual assault allegations can arise. If you get accused of sexual assault on a college campus in Arizona, you could be facing serious consequences.

Arrest and Criminal Charges

First, you could get arrested and face criminal charges for an alleged sexual offense that took place on a college campus. The police may receive a warrant for your arrest and place you in detainment. At this point, the government may enter charges against you, meaning you will need to go through the criminal justice process as a defendant. 

If you are convicted of sexual assault, you could be facing a prison sentence of 5 to 14 years as a first-time offender. If there are aggravating factors, such as the use of a date-rape drug or physical injuries inflicted, you could be facing additional prison time. Other criminal penalties include hefty fines and surcharges, victim restitution, and probation.

college campus sexual assault

Expulsion From the University

In addition to criminal penalties, you will also face disciplinary action by the college or university. If you are convicted of sexual assault or even accused of committing a sex crime by another student, you could be expelled (permanently removed) from the college. Different colleges have different protocols for how to handle sexual assault allegations. At Scottsdale College or Phoenix College, you may be temporarily suspended while the school undergoes an investigation and a criminal case is underway. If you are expelled, this can impact your education and future.

Arizona Sex Offender List Registration

Many different types of sex crime convictions in Arizona come with a requirement for the defendant to be entered on the state’s Sex Offender Registry. This means you will permanently be registered as a sex offender for a college sex crime, and your name will be searchable on the list by the public. As a registered sex offender, you will be restricted in where you can live and work. You will also have to notify the government of your movements for the rest of your life, such as if you move to a different city. Being on the list also creates a stigma around you that can damage your reputation and relationships with others.

Lost Employment and Housing Opportunities

Sexual assault is typically charged as a felony crime in Arizona. If you are convicted of a felony for a college sex crime, you could face negative ramifications for the rest of your life. This includes difficulty finding a job and being disqualified from certain professional certifications. Employers as well as landlords will have access to your criminal record, making it harder to have a career and find a place to live.

Revoked Constitutional Rights

Another permanent consequence of being convicted of a felony sex crime in Arizona is the revocation of certain constitutional rights. This includes the right to bear arms and vote in public elections. While it is sometimes possible to restore your civil liberties after a felony conviction, this is not a guarantee.

Contact a Defense Attorney in Arizona Right Away

Just because you are a student in college does not keep you safe from a sexual assault allegation or conviction. Additionally, being under the influence of alcohol is not a defense to sexual assault charges in Arizona. The best way to protect yourself if you have been arrested for alleged sexual assault on a college campus is by contacting an attorney right away. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can build the strongest possible case in your defense to protect your future.