Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Being JA'd in Ithaca (Judicial Administration): Advisors YES, Representatives NO

Anyone can Refer You to The JA

In my years of representing many TC3, Ithaca College, and Cornell University students I am often asked to help them with their pending JA stuff. Along with their criminal case they now have to deal with a pending violation of their school's code of conduct.

How You Get JA'd?

TC3, IC, SUNY, and Cornell all have a form of a JA = Judicial Administration. You can be JA'd (turned in) by the police, by your friends (are they really), by your teachers, by staff, and just about anyone. Anyone can lodge a complaint against you and say you violated the School's Code of Conduct. One year, I had a client with a then pending DWI whose friends called a local judge on slope day to say she was wasted.

What is the level of proof for a JA violation?

The level of proof here (for the JA) is a civil level (administrative), just more likely than not that you did something, kinda like 51% true. This is a very low level to prove. It is not the proof beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal) standard.

What type of punishments can I get from the JA?

The Court and prosecutor (district attorney) can levy criminal sanctions and the JA can levy additional punishments. These can range from reprimand to suspension to expulsion. Sometimes the worst punishment to a student comes from the JA proceedings, and not the criminal court.

Does it matter that my bad behavior wasn't even on campus?

Remember you attend school based upon a commitment to a specific code of conduct. Your "on or off" campus behavior could be viewed as dangerous to not only yourself but to others as well.

J. Criminal Conduct

Violations of federal, state or local statutes committed on College-owned or -operated property or off campus, in the discretion of the college, are considered violations of this code, whether or not such violations are referred to and/or prosecuted by public officials.

TC3, IC, and CU do not want to have risky people threaten campus safety. Many DWI and DWAI cases involve alcohol and/or other drugs like marijuana that impair mental judgment. An ongoing pattern of risky and impulsive behavior will not be tolerated by these schools.

What's the best things to do if facing a JA complaint with a pending DWI/DWAI? 

First things first: Get evaluated (assessed) for any drug and/or alcohol related problem. A NYS certified OASAS (office of alcohol and substance abuse services) would be the best one to evaluate you and write a report including any diagnosis and plan of treatment (if any). Sometimes a separate mental/psychological evaluation and report will also prove helpful to resolving a complaint.

Second, discuss with your attorney how best to present yourself at all JA hearings. I find that bringing in documentation of the incident adds weight to your story. What tickets were actually issued? What charges are currently pending? Are there any discussions of a negotiated disposition?

NOTE: Of course clear all of this with your lawyer before making any statements that could affect your criminal proceedings. 

Lastly, attorneys are only allowed to be physically present at these proceeding in an ADVISORY capacity. Anyone you bring to these hearings can only act as an advisor.

Meaning, they can whisper in your ear, and they can help you direct questions, BUT
they cannot REPRESENT you, they cannot speak for you. An attorney with a sock in their mouth is like a one armed wallpaper hanger, frustrated and helpless.

The presence of a JCC at such hearings is in an advisory capacity only—the JCC does not represent the student and make the student's case for them.

The schools usually provide you assess to a JA Counselor, who can represent you minimally at these hearings. The JAC can take part in discussions. Remember that CU (and TC3, SUNY, IC) expect you to make the majority of your own case or defense.

"as long as the major part of the case is made by the student."

The JA Counselor can at least give a summary (closing statement), which is more than a lawyer would be allowed or welcomed to do in this situation.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.

Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 90% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 435 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.


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