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student conduct code Archives - Shan Wu

The Education of a College Student Defense Attorney—Chapter 2

By college student defense

The First Case: Parallel Proceedings My first college student defense client was a university student who had been arrested for assaulting a taxicab driver. To my surprise, the case quickly evolved into a “parallel proceedings” case. I had been familiar with parallel proceedings in the context of white-collar defense where a corporate executive or a corporation can face simultaneous criminal and civil investigations—with a fraud case, for example, being investigated criminally by the United States Department of Justice and, simultaneously, being investigated civilly by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). I did not expect, however, the same situation to occur in what originally appeared to be a straightforward criminal defense case. The criminal charge for my student defense client was “simple assault.” As a misdemeanor, simple assault carries a maximum jail sentence of no more than six months, though that would rarely be imposed on a first-time offender like my client. The university student conduct code violation allegation that followed…

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