Video Frequently Asked Questions

In this series of videos we answer some of the most commonly asked questions we receive from clients.

Video Topics

 

Accused of cheating in college? Top 3 tips from a defense attorney for students.

's Profile Image Students who are accused of cheating in college may feel pressured to try and resolve the issue quickly. Before doing that, read a defense attorney for students top 3 tips if you are accused of cheating. Be careful about what you say or write to university staff – Think before you speak. Does your defense make sense, is there any other information you should use to support your position. Read your student handbook – Look for the honor code of academic integrity section. This will outline the process you may face if a professor thinks you cheated. The university is not always your friend – anything you say or write in an attempt to make the situation go away may be used against you in an academic committee hearing.  Call Asselta Law today for a free consultation. We offer student defense advising services throughout the United States. (855) 338-5299 Read More

Accused of unauthorized collaboration in college? Defense tips from an attorney.

's Profile Image What is unauthorized collaboration? This is when a student works with another person or group without permission from the professor. What should a student do if accused of collaboration? Read your syllabus and think about what the professor told you or did not tell you about working with other students. Read your handbook. This is where you will find the answer to what will happen if the professor refers the matter to the academic integrity office. Are you facing an academic integrity committee hearing? Hire us to help you prepare. The better prepared you are for the hearing the better chance for success. Need to appeal a sanction? Call us. We write student appeals.  Richard Asselta is a defense attorney for university students who offers advisement services throughout the United States. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Read More

What should a student do if they are accused of self-plagiarism in college? The answer from an attorney for students.

's Profile Image What is self-plagiarism? This is taking work that you have previously completed and turning it in to another class.  Do I need to cite myself? Yes. If you use a portion of your previous work, you must cite yourself. Can I submit my old paper for a new assignment, it is my original work? Not without the professors permission. I have worked with students from undergraduate programs to doctoral students who have reused their old work and ended up in trouble. Even if you think it is acceptable, I always recommend you ask the professor to be sure. What should I do if a professor accuses me of self-plagiarism? Read your student handbook – find out what the policy on submitting work twice is.  Check your handbook for the honor code or academic integrity policy. This will tell you what you may face in terms of sanctions. Call Asselta Law. We offer student defense adviser services throughout the United States. (855) 338-5299 Click here for the full blog post on self-plagiarism.    Read More

How to write a student disciplinary appeal. Tips from an appeal lawyer.

's Profile Image What is a student appeal? A student appeal is the last chance a student has at avoid sanctions from their college. An appeal asks university staff, usually a dean or provost to look at the situation one last time. How fast do I have to write and submit my student appeal? Usually very quick. Every university is different so make sure you check your handbook for the timelines.  What should I write about in my student disciplinary appeal? That depends on your situation and what categories your university allows you to argue. The categories are typically: new information, policy or procedural violations, and harshness of sanction. These limited categories can make appeal writing a challenge. I write student appeals using my nearly twenty years as a lawyer combined with a specialized knowledge of the student disciplinary process. This gives students a edge. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read the full blog post on student disciplinary appeals.  Read More

What is a grade appeal? A lawyer for university students explains.

's Profile Image What is a grade appeal? When a student believes that they were not evaluated fairly by a professor, they can file a grade appeal or grade grievance.  How long do I have to appeal the grade? Check your student handbook and search for the grade appeal section. Most universities have time frames that student must meet. This means that you can’t wait until you get ready to graduate to dispute a grade.  What should I write about in a grade appeal? I recommend focusing on facts that support your appeal. Do not argue that you didn’t feel well or felt the professor didn’t teach you. You need to discuss issues surrounding rubrics, confusing or incorrect test questions, or syllabus errors. Can you help me write my grade grievance? Yes. I write student appeals, including grade disputes. Using my nearly 20 years of experience as an attorney combined with a unique knowledge of the student disciplinary process, I give students a successful edge.  Want to read more about grade appeals? Click here for a full blog post about the topic. Richard Asselta assists students in writing appeals in college. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Read More

What is an academic integrity hearing? A defense lawyer for students answers.

's Profile Image Accused of an academic honor code violation and have to face a committee hearing? What should a student expect? A honor code committee hearing can be intimidating. The student will face a panel of students and professors who will decide if they are guilty of committing a violation of the honor code.  What should a student expect to happen at an academic hearing? A university student should be prepared to present their case against the charges. This involves asking and answering questions, presenting evidence, providing witnesses, and more. Can you help me prepare for my academic integrity hearing? Yes. I help students all over the US prepare their honor code violation defense. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, a lawyer review website.  Read More

Should I bring an attorney as my adviser to an honor code hearing?

's Profile Image In a previous video I discussed what an academic integrity or honor code hearing is. In this video I am going to discuss the importance of bringing an adviser to the hearing. What is an adviser for academic integrity and honor code hearings? An adviser sits in with the student during the hearing and assists them in presenting their defense. Can I bring an adviser to my university honor code hearing? Maybe. That depends on your university. Check your student handbook for the rules regarding advisers. Most public schools allow advisers but private schools can restrict the attendance of an adviser.  How can an honor code hearing adviser help me? I see several benefits to the participation of an adviser in an academic integrity hearing. I help students prepare for the hearing, present their case, and support them during the hearing.  Richard Asselta, defense attorney for students, acts as an adviser for students who must face an academic integrity committee hearing. Do you need an adviser for an honor code hearing? Call Asselta Law today for help. We offer free consultations. (855) 338-5299   Read More

Is using a professors old course materials considered cheating?

's Profile Image You are in college there are pressures and you want to do the best you can. You are taking a course and talk to friends, maybe they had the professor last semester or you do online searches and find the professors old course materials. You then use these materials to study. Then test day comes and you notice the test is identical or almost exactly the same as what you studied from. You end up getting a very high score, much higher than the class average. The professor then calls you in for a meeting and accuses you of cheating. Is using a professors past course materials to study considered cheating? Maybe. It depends on your university. Does the university have a policy that using past materials against the rules, did the professor say anything in class or put anything in their syllabus that says this is not appropriate? There are many defenses to a cheating accusation and they depend on the facts of your case.  Are you accused of cheating in school? Contact Asselta Law today. We offer free consultations and defend students throughout the United States.  Richard Asselta is an award-winning defense attorney for students. He is experienced in helping students who are facing accusations of cheating in college.  Click here to read what clients are saying on AVVO, a lawyer review website. Read More

What should a Florida teacher do if they face an investigation by the Department of Education?

's Profile Image What happens if a Florida teacher receives a letter from the Department of Education? If you received a letter from the DOE, chances are you have some idea what it is about. Most of the incidents originate at your district level. You may have been investigated by your school district and even faced disciplinary action. However, districts are required to report certain infractions to the state. Even though you may have settled the incident with your district, you may still face additional discipline from the state. What should a teacher do if the receive the DOE investigation letter? Call an defense attorney for teachers immediately. The DOE letter will request documents, statements, and more and want it all in a very short time frame. What the DOE does not tell you is that you can hire a lawyer to defend you.  This is your livelihood and your profession. Do not take a letter of investigation lightly. The sooner you get an attorney who defends teachers involved, the better your chance at a successful outcome.  Richard Asselta, award-winning attorney, defends Florida teachers at district, state, and administrative hearings. Call today for a free consultation and protect your career. (855) 338-5299   Read More

What should a Florida teacher do if accused of FSA or EOC test administration misconduct?

's Profile Image Florida teachers are often required to help administer FSA or EOC tests. Administering these tests can put a teacher at risk if they aren’t careful.  What types of issues could cause a teacher to face accusations of test misconduct? Giving too much or too little time Helping students outside of what the test administration manual allows Pointing to answers Telling a student to check their answers What can happen to a teacher if accused of helping students on an FSA or EOC test? The Florida Department of Education takes these accusations seriously. Many teachers have been told they will face at a minimum a suspension. If you face an accusation of helping students on a standardized test, contact Asselta Law immediately. We are experienced in defending teachers at the district, state, and in administrative hearings. (855) 338-5299 Read More

Can I raise ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal?

's Profile Image In a criminal matter, you can raise ineffective assistance of counsel on an appeal. However, there are specific procedures that come into place before you can do that. In a civil matter, you cannot raise ineffective assistance of counsel as a ground for your appeal. In a civil context, there are other ways that you’ll have to deal with that. You should consult with an appellate attorney if you have more questions about the appeal process. Read More

Will I be required to testify at the appeal or be present during any of the appellate proceedings in Florida?

's Profile Image You are not required to testify as part of any appellate proceedings, and in fact, testimony is normally not taken. Likewise, you do not have to attend any appellate procedures as well. Your appellate attorney can handle everything. Read More

Who may attend an oral argument?

's Profile Image Generally, oral arguments are open to the public. Some clients want to attend the oral argument to get a better understanding of the process. Other times, they’re happy to let their appellate attorney handle the matter and have the attorney report back to them what happened. You’re not required to attend an oral argument. Read More

Where can I find the rules that govern appeal?

's Profile Image Every court system has their own rules that govern appeals. For example, in Florida State Courts, those rules are found in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. In the federal system, they’re found in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. These rules can be found in book form but now many times they can be found online. An experienced Appellate Attorney would be able to explain the rules in your court system. Read More

What possible outcomes can I expect in my civil matter?

's Profile Image Possible outcomes in a civil matter really depends on what you are appealing or what side you are on. For example, if you were the winner of a money judgment in the lower court and your adversary appealed that decision, if the appellate court affirmed, your judgment would be affirmed. Read More

What makes a strong appellate attorney?

's Profile Image A strong appellate attorney is an attorney who possesses excellent writing skills, researching skills, and analytical skills. In addition, a strong appellate attorney should be able to call through a tremendous amount of information and be able to distill that information down to arguments that are succinct and make sense. Read More

What is the purpose of a special education due process hearing?

's Profile Image The purpose of a special education due process hearing is to get a resolution of whatever issue exists. For example, the issue could be the school is not following your child’s IEP, or they haven’t evaluated your child properly, or some other issue surrounding the special education process. You should consult with an Education and School Law Attorney if you think your child was not properly evaluated. Read More

What is the effect of denying certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court?

's Profile Image If the U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari, that means that the decision of the Court of Appeals is final. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the U.S. Supreme Court agree or disagreed with the Court of Appeals, but it does mean that the Court will not hear your case. Read More

What is the difference between a trial attorney and an appellate attorney in Florida?

's Profile Image The job of a trial attorney and an appellate attorney are two different things, and both require two different skill sets. For an example, a trial attorney needs to be able to think on their feet, needs to be able to cross-examine witnesses very effectively. An appellate lawyer needs to be an excellent writer and needs to possess analytical skills. So the skill sets involved to conduct a trial and to conduct an appeal are very different. Read More

What is the difference between a petition for writ of habeas corpus and an appeal?

's Profile Image Generally, a writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate questioning whether or not somebody has been lawfully detained or improperly imprisoned. An appeal, on the other hand, is normally a petition to an appellate court seeking to overturn either a lawsuit judgment or a criminal conviction. Read More

What is the deadline for filing a 3.850 motion in Florida?

's Profile Image The deadline for filing a 3.850 motion in Florida is two years from the date the conviction became final. That date is usually either the day that the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s mandate, or if no appeal was taken, the last date in which the appeal could have been filed. You should consult with an Appellate Attorney as soon as possible if you are nearing your deadline. Read More

What is FERPA?

's Profile Image FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It’s a federal law designed to do two things. Number one, it protects student’s education records. Number two, it gives students access to their education records. Read More

What is due process in a school setting?

's Profile Image Due process in a school setting means a few different things. It means you’re innocent until proven guilty, you have to have notice of what you did wrong, and an opportunity to be heard. The United States Supreme Court has said that due process does extend to students in public schools. For suspensions less than ten days, you have an opportunity to an informal hearing. For suspensions ten days or greater, you do get a formal hearing, normally before the local school board. You should consult with an Education and School Law attorney if you have more questions about due process. Read More

What is an emotional support animal?

's Profile Image An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides emotional support for somebody that has either a mental or psychiatric disability. An emotional support animal is a companion animal, it’s not a pet. Read More

What is a 3.850 motion in Florida?

's Profile Image A 3.850 motion in Florida refers to the Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. There are several grounds that can be asserted, however, the most typical one is ineffective assistance of council. If you have this issue, it’s very important to consult with an appellate attorney who has experience dealing with these motions as sometimes they can be a little tricky and difficult to understand. Read More

What is a 504 plan?

's Profile Image If your child does not qualify for an IEP plan, he or she may qualify for a 504 Plan. 504 refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. It’s a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Your child has to be treated just like every other child. There are some major differences between an IEP Plan and a 504 Plan. So you should consult an education attorney who can better explain those differences. Read More

What if my trial attorney says there are no good appellate issues?

's Profile Image While the opinion of your trial attorney is certainly important, you should consult with an appellate lawyer. Appellate lawyers are trained and are used to going through the record and spotting issues. They can give you a better understanding  of what issues you may have for an appeal and what your chances of success might be. Read More

What if I have no objection to the facts, but feel I should have won a motion to suppress or dismiss? What should I do?

's Profile Image Even if you don’t have any objection to the facts, that doesn’t mean you still can’t appeal. It’s important to understand that, in most cases, an appellate court is not scrutinizing or weighing facts. They’re looking at whether or not the law was correctly applied to those facts. So, if you believe that the judge misinterpreted the law or misapplied it, you have grounds for an appeal and should contact an Appellate Attorney. Read More

What does filing an appeal mean?

's Profile Image Filing an appeal means two different things. The first step in the appellate process is filing what’s called a notice of appeal. This is a document that’s filed in the lower court. After that, you then file your initial brief. That’s filed in the actual appellate division. Read More

What documentation do I need to provide to have an emotional support animal/assistance animal in Florida?

's Profile Image To have an emotional support animal, the first thing you should do is make a request to your landlord or housing provider. The request should be in writing, and you should explain why the animal will mitigate or help reduce the symptoms of your disability. You’ll also need to provide a doctor’s note. Read More

What can I do if a Florida breeder sold me a sick puppy?

's Profile Image Florida has what’s called a “Pet Lemon Law.” So, for an example, if you have a sick puppy, you would have 14 days from the date of purchase to return the dog for either illness, infectious or contagious disease. If you have been sold an unhealthy animal you should consult with an experienced Animal and Pet law attorney before 14 days have passed. Read More

Why students should be careful when connected to their schools Wi-Fi.

's Profile Image Beware of connecting to your schools internet. Here’s why. Several students have called me and were accused of cheating on an exam. All from different universities with a similar issue. The students excused themselves to go to the bathroom and took their phone with them. Then while in the bathroom, they access an online portal like canvas or notes on a web-page. All of this is done while on the school Wi-Fi. They then score higher than usual or had similar answers to other sources and are flagged for cheating. The student denies this but then the school offers up evidence that your phone was sending and receiving data during exam time. The school may not be able to tell what you looked at, but they know you accessed something. If your phone is active while you are taking an exam, it looks bad. My advice Turn off your phone or at least your Wi-Fi while taking an exam. If you are already accused of cheating, there are defenses but what those defenses are depends on your unique situation. If you find yourself in a similar situation, give me a call. I offer free consultations and student defense services nationwide. (855) 338-5299 Read More

What are my chances at a success in an appeal?

's Profile Image Your chances for a success on an appeal depends on many different things. It depends on which side were you on, were you the winner or the loser in the lower court? It depends on the issue that you’re appealing, the specific facts of your case, and what the law says regarding the issue that you’re appealing from. You should consult with an experienced appellate lawyer who can go through the information and give you a good assessment of what your chances are for an appeal. Read More

Bought a paper or assignment online and got caught? Advice from a lawyer for students.

's Profile Image College is stressful, and students can fall behind in their work. The pressure to keep their grades up can cause students to turn to websites that claim, “pay us and we will write you a 100% original paper, guaranteed.” However, the guarantee is rarely ever truthful. I have worked with several students who used a service like this and then were flagged for plagiarism. What should a student do if caught turning in a purchased paper? Students are usually caught when professors use plagiarism checkers. Buying a paper can cause a student to face not one but several honor code violations. These violations can be tough to defend against because it is challenging to argue against a similarity report like the one that Turnitin uses. Just saying you didn’t plagiarize while a report says otherwise is not a good defense strategy. You need evidence to prove this. I work with students to figure out if there is evidence to support they didn’t plagiarize or find a way to negotiate for a lower sanction. Click here to read more about plagiarism. Richard Asselta is a lawyer for students who defends students all over the United States. If you find yourself accused of plagiarism, call Asselta Law today. Free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Read More

If the school district is not following my child’s IEP or the IEP is not working, what can I do?

's Profile Image If a school district is not following your child’s IEP or it’s not working, the first thing you should do is request an IEP meeting. This can be done through either the district’s special education coordinator or the school’s principal. If that doesn’t work, a more serious option to consider is what’s called a “due process hearing.” You should consult with an education law attorney who can explain to you the benefits of each procedure. Read More

If my child has special needs or is in special education, what rights do I have with the school district?

's Profile Image Your child has a right to a free and appropriate public education. They also have the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment. That means if your child has special needs, he or she has the right to be educated with students who do not have a disability. Read More

Caught with drugs or paraphernalia in school? Advice from a lawyer for students.

's Profile Image Using of vape pens and bringing edibles to school is gaining in popularity among students. Schools have responded with a zero tolerance policy if a student is caught with possession of a drug, drug paraphernalia, or if they distribute of drugs. Even pretending that a something is a drug can be cause for suspension or expulsion. What is considered a drug? Each school district has their own rules for what is banned from a school campus. Most common drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine are banned. Prescription drugs like Adderall, Xanax, and Ativan can also be banned if the student who has them is not the prescribed person. What about having a vaping device, rolling paper, pipe, or other paraphernalia on school grounds? If a school finds a student with drug paraphernalia like a pipe, vaporizer, or Juul they will submit it for residue testing. A pipe or other device with tobacco residue is usually treated less severe than if it was used with marijuana. Even if the student did not have possession of the drug on school, whatever residue was found will be considered. I was pretending that an edible had drugs in it, but it didn’t. Even joking around that an edible has drugs in it can be cause for suspension or expulsion from school. Can you help me fight a suspension or expulsion from school? Yes. I defend students throughout Florida in student disciplinary hearings. Using my nearly twenty years of legal experience combined with specialized knowledge of the student disciplinary process, I give students the best chance at a successful outcome. Call now for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer for students who assists students facing suspension or expulsion from school. Call today and start building your defense. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website.   Read More

If my child brings a backpack to school in Florida, can it be searched?

's Profile Image In 1985, the United States Supreme Court ruled that schools can conduct searches so long as there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime either has been committed, is in the process of being committed, or some school rule has been violated. That search would extend to your person, your desk, your car, and yes, your backpack. Read More

Accused of forging a Doctor's note, sign-in or internship log in college?

's Profile Image I was charged with falsifying or forging class records. What does that mean? It could mean you are accused of one of the following: Helping your friend out and signing them into class or lab. Playing as your friend in a class polling assignment for credit. Noting time on an internship log that you did not complete. Noting dates and time on a lab attendance record when you were not there. What happens if I was caught falsifying my class records? Check your universities procedure for academic dishonesty violations. Generally, students are allowed to defend themselves against forgery accusations. It may happen between just you and the professor or in front of an honor code committee.  What can happen if I am found responsible for fabricating school documents? You will receive a sanction. Sanctions can range from a warning up to dismissal and expulsion from your university. Can I appeal a disciplinary sanction? Yes. A disciplinary appeal is typically a written submission with only a few categories to argue in. The most common student appeal categories are new information, harshness of sanction, and policy violations. I write appeals for students using my extensive background as an appellate attorney and specialized knowledge of the academic disciplinary process. Can you help me defend my honor code charge? Yes. I offer student defense advising services throughout the United States. Using my nearly twenty years as an attorney with a specialized knowledge of the academic integrity process, I assist students to gain successful outcomes. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Richard Asselta is an award-winning student defense lawyer who offers student defense services throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of college disciplinary issues, including falsification. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website. Read More

If I win on appeal, will I be freed from prison?

's Profile Image If you win on appeal, you will not necessarily be freed from prison. The more likely scenario is if you win on appeal, your case will go back to the lower court to be retried, or sometimes that the issue is whether or not your sentence was proper. So you may be remanded back to the lower court for a new sentencing. Read More

Should I bring an attorney to a university disciplinary hearing?

's Profile Image I often get the question: Should I bring a lawyer to a disciplinary hearing in college?  My recommendation – Yes. Public schools allow advisers who are attorneys to attend disciplinary hearings with the accused student. Private schools are allowed to make their own policies so whether someone can come with a student depends on their policies.  What can a lawyer for students do to help a student in a university disciplinary hearing? In most schools, they restrict the advisers role to student support. This means that an adviser cannot actively participate in the hearing, the student must be the one speaking. However, an adviser can speak to the student, write down questions, organize evidence, and other things to actively support the student to successfully represent themselves.  If an adviser can’t address the panel during the hearing, is it worth bringing an adviser? Yes. I think it is important that the school sees that there is someone there supporting the student. These hearings can be a lot of pressure and tend to make students nervous. My presence and support has helped students remain calm and clear minded. I keep the student on track and ensure that they make all of their defense points, present all of their evidence clearly, and question witnesses effectively.  Another important point is that my presence makes the university play fair. I have heard horror stories from students who handle these hearings on their own and the school has not followed their own procedures and treat the students terribly. However, when I have attended with students, I have never seen this behavior take place.  If you are facing a university disciplinary hearing call Asselta Law today. We offer national student defense services for disciplinary hearings and all types of student appeals. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.  Read More

If I think my child has special needs and he is not in special education, what rights do I have with the school district?

's Profile Image If you think your child has special needs, the first thing you should do is contact the district’s special ed coordinator or the school’s principal, and request that your child be evaluated under the IDEA. Read More

If a college or graduate school files academic or disciplinary charges against a student, does that student need an attorney?

's Profile Image A student is not required to have an attorney if academic or disciplinary charges have been filed against them. However, having an experienced Education and School Law Attorney is recommended. The reason being is that because many times these policies are not clearly written, and the administrators themselves don’t understand the policy. Having an attorney can help guide you through the process, protect your rights, and make sure that the procedures are followed correctly. Read More

If a college graduate or doctoral student is dismissed from school, what legal options do they have?

's Profile Image There may be several legal options available depending upon whether or not the school is a public school or a private school. Most schools have some sort of internal appeal process. That process should be exhausted. If it is a public school, you also then have a right to file what’s called a writ of certiorari to a circuit court. If it is a private school, one option that you have is always to sue the school if you believe that the school failed to do something or did something improper.  Read More

I lost my direct appeal in the lower court. I want to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Do I have that right?

's Profile Image Not every case can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Generally, cases have to deal with either a Federal issue or involve some sort of Federal law. The Supreme Court will then read the petitions, if you meet certain requirements, and decide whether or not to take your case. There’s no guarantee or absolute right to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. You should consult with an appellate attorney if you think your case can be appealed. Read More

I have always had a clearly posted no pets policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?

's Profile Image Yes, you do and the reason is because a service animal is not a pet. So while you don’t have to completely abandon your no pets policy, you do have to make exceptions for service animals. Read More

How much time do I have to file a notice of appeal in Florida?

's Profile Image In Florida, you have 30 days from the date that the lower court issues the order which you’re appealing from to file what’s called a Notice of Appeal in a lower tribunal. Read More

How do I know whether I have a good appeal?

's Profile Image Whether or not you have a good appeal or a good chance on appeal really depends on several things. It depends on the issue in which you’re appealing from. It depends on whether or not you were the winner or loser in the lower court. It depends on your facts and it depends on what the law says. You should consult with an experienced appellate attorney, he or she can be able to go through your record and give you a better understanding of what chances you have on success for your appeal. Read More

Does the Fair Housing Act FHA apply to all housing?

's Profile Image The Fair Housing Act does apply to most housing including condominiums, apartments, and homes for rent. There are some major exceptions, so you should consult with an attorney who can advise you specifically of what those exceptions are. Read More

Does it matter for appellate purposes whether my case was tried in state or federal court?

's Profile Image Yes, it does matter for appellate purposes whether or not your case was tried in state or federal court. The reason is because each of those two court systems have different rules. While the rules may be similar, there are major differences. So you should consult with an experienced appellate lawyer to understand what those differences are to safeguard your appellate rights. Read More

Accused of cheating on the SAT or ACT? Advice from a lawyer.

's Profile Image What happens when you or your child is accused of cheating on the SAT or ACT?  There are usually a couple of ways this happens. In the middle of the test, the proctor comes over and believes cheating was occurring. Either they are looking at another students answer sheet or brought in  outside materials. At that point the proctor will confiscate the exam and report the student to either the SAT or ACT board. If there is a really big increase in score, 400 plus points on the SAT or 6 or more points on the ACT. This could cause a cheating accusation.  If your Scantron sheet matches with someone else’s in the testing room, you can be suspected of cheating. Additionally, wrong to right answer erasures could also flag you for cheating. What should you do if the SAT or ACT board believes you cheated? There is an appeal process. It is time limited and can be challenging. You have to act quick to preserve evidence that supports your side. I strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney experienced with these types of appeals.  Can you help me write my appeal? Yes. I utilize my nearly twenty years experience to craft successful arguments for appeals. I work with students all over the country facing not only accusations of cheating on standardized tests, but also in college. Don’t let a cheating accusation threaten your college dreams.  Richard Asselta, defense lawyer for students, defends students accused of cheating on the SAT or ACT test. Need to appeal a cheating accusation? Call Asselta Law today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Read More

Does an emotional support animal need specialized training in Florida?

's Profile Image Emotional support animals do not need specialized training. Neither the Fair Housing Act, nor Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires any specialized training for an emotional support animal. Read More

Tips for fighting a suspension or expulsion from a K-12 school from a lawyer for students.

's Profile Image My child is facing a long-term suspension or expulsion from school. What should I do? Students of all ages make mistakes. Elementary, middle and high school students can be suspended or expelled for several reasons. If a student is suspended for more than 10 days or is recommended for expulsion from school, they must be given the chance to defend themselves. What should I say to fight the suspension or expulsion? Your defense strategy depends on the charges your child is facing. I wish I could give a step-by-step map to building a defense, but it really depends on the facts of the case. Generally speaking, you must make sure you gather all of the evidence the school is using to support the suspension or expulsion. You should also request all of your child’s school records. Finally, make sure you appeal the discipline within the given time frame. What should I write about in my suspension or expulsion appeal? The formatting of each appeal depends on the reason the student was suspended or expelled. The appeal should explain the situation in a chronological order clearly.  Think of how an outline is formatted. Can you help me fight the suspension or expulsion from school? Yes. I defend students in K-12 schools throughout the state of Florida. Each district approaches disciplinary issues differently, so it is important to have an attorney who specializes in this area of law.  Richard Asselta is an award-winning defense lawyer for students. He is experienced in fighting suspensions and expulsions in grades K-12, college, and all education settings. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on Avvo, a lawyer review website.   Read More

Does an appellate court in Florida hear witnesses to testify?

's Profile Image An appellate court does not hear witnesses testifying. All witness testimony comes from the record. In the case of testimony, that’s usually in the form of transcripts. Read More

Does a Florida tenant have to pay for damage done by his or her emotional support animal/assistance animal?

's Profile Image If it’s the policy of the landlord or housing provider to charge the tenants for more than reasonable wear and tear, then, yes. The person would be responsible to pay for damages for the emotional support animal. The key is that that individual is treated just as every other tenant. Read More

Caught changing research results or data in college? Tips from a defense lawyer for students.

's Profile Image I am being charged with cheating because I falsified my data and research results.  If you conduct research, run statistics, or record data in other ways, you cannot change the results. If you do change your results, you could be charged with cheating due to falsification. What happens if I am caught faking data or research findings? This depends on your university. Check your student handbook under academic integrity violations to be sure what to expect if charged with cheating by falsification. What can happen if I am found guilty of faking my research results? The university will sanction you. The punishment depends on the severity of the violation and if you have had any other academic integrity issues. I have seen sanctions range from a warning up to dismissal and expulsion from a university. Can I appeal my disciplinary sanction for cheating? Yes. This appeal is often the last chance a student has at fighting a disciplinary sanction and is a written submission to the dean or provost of the university. I write appeals for students using my extensive background as an appellate attorney and specialized knowledge of the academic disciplinary process. Can you help me defend against the charge of falsification? Yes. I offer student defense advising services throughout the United States. Using my nearly twenty years as an attorney combined with a unique knowledge of the academic integrity process, I assist students to gain successful outcomes Call today and protect your future. (855) 338-5299 Richard Asselta is an award-winning student defense lawyer who offers academic advising services throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of college disciplinary issues, including falsification. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.   Read More

Do I have to retain the trial attorney as part of the appellate team?

's Profile Image You do not have to retain your trial attorney’s part of the appellate team in Florida. The reason is is because in the appeal, we have a full record of what happened in the lower court, including a transcript which includes everything that your trial attorney said. Read More

Accused of cheating on the FTCE? Defense tips from a lawyer for teachers.

's Profile Image The Florida Department of Education is accusing you of cheating on a teaching certification exam. What should you do? Read on for advice from a attorney for teachers. Can you cheat on the FTCE? The testing environment that gives all of the FTCE is equipped to stop cheating. They use audio and video recording along with other procedures to try and stop people from cheating. If it is hard to cheat on the Florida certification exams, how come I have been accused of cheating? If you take the test enough times, you are bound to come across the same question more than once. If you walk out of the test room and write down questions to study from later or tell a friend, it is considered cheating. Cheating on the FTCE Professional Education Test essay portion The Florida DOE has clearly written test instructions that the test taker cannot not prewrite essays. That means even if you took an exam and did not pass, but practice the essay question to study, you are breaking a testing rule. Using online forums that list essay prompts and then prewriting can get you in trouble.  Suspended from getting a teaching certificate If the Florida DOE suspects that you cheated on a FTCE, they can invalidate your score and stop you from taking the test for period of time, which essentially suspends you from becoming a teacher.   Can I fight the FTCE exam cheating accusation? Yes. There is an investigative and hearing process for people testing to be a certified teacher. I always recommend hiring a lawyer who handles Florida teacher professional misconduct to assist. Your career is on the line. How long does it take to prove that I did not cheat on the FTCE? That depends. Many factors contribute to how fast the Florida FLDOE processes a certification investigation. Can you help me fight an accusation of cheating on the FTCE? Yes. I help all Florida teachers facing certification issues, including appeals and disciplinary action. Call me today for a free consultation and protect your professional future. Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer who defends teachers throughout the state of Florida. Click here to read how he helps teachers with teaching certification discipline at the district and state levels, administrative FLDOE hearings, investigations, and denial appeals. Click here to read what client’s are saying about Richard on Avvo, a lawyer review website.  Read More

Do all Florida attorneys handle appeals?

's Profile Image While all attorneys have the ability to handle appeals, not all lawyers do that. A Florida Appeals Attorney really is a specialized area of the law and many times requires a specialized set of skills that are different from, let’s say, a trial attorney. Read More

Denied A Teaching Certification In Florida? Tips from a lawyer for teachers.

's Profile Image The Florida Department of Education denied your application for a teaching certificate. It could for several reasons. Missing college classes, required experience, a past criminal issue, or a teaching certification problem in another state can cause your application to be rejected.  Can I dispute a denial of teaching certification? Yes – a teacher can appeal the denial of a teaching certificate. However, I always advise hiring an experienced lawyer who represents Florida teachers to assist with the process. Why a Florida teaching certification may be denied: Criminal charges – Past DUI’s, child abuse accusations, criminal traffic citations, misdemeanors and felonies, if not explained correctly, can cause a teacher to be denied a certification. Certificate issues in another state – while Florida has reciprocity which allows you to transfer your teaching certificate from another state, if you had any discipline or even surrendered your teaching license, you could face a denial from the Florida Department of Education. Other teaching license application issues – Other issues like failing to disclose previous teaching certifications, past criminal charges, or not explaining an issue correctly can lead to a denial. What happens if I appeal my certification denial? The DOE will take another look at your application and the documentation supporting your challenge. This last chance at another look is why I strongly suggest hiring an attorney who represents teachers. The presentation of the material you are using to dispute the denial of your teaching certification is critical. The information and explanation of why you do qualify must be laid out and written clearly. You may not get a second chance. Can you help all Florida teachers that were denied a teaching certificate? Yes. I help all Florida teachers facing certification issues, including appeals and disciplinary action. Call me today for a free consultation and start protecting your professional future. Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer who defends teachers throughout the state of Florida. Click here to read how he helps teachers with teaching certification discipline at the district and state levels, administrative DOE hearings, investigations, and certification denial appeals. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website. Read More

Can the landlord charge me a pet/security deposit for my emotional support animal/assistance animal?

's Profile Image Based on statements from HUD, it appears that a Florida landlord cannot charge a pet fee or a pet deposit for an emotional support animal, the reason being is because an emotional support animal is not considered a pet. Read More

Can new evidence be heard at my appellate hearing in Florida?

's Profile Image Generally, new evidence will not be heard or considered as part of your appellate process. The appellate court in Florida is bound by something called “the record.” The record is exactly that, a record of everything that occurred at the lower court level. That is what they’ll be reading from. That’s what they’ll consider in determining your appeal. Read More

Can my child’s conversations at home on the phone or computer with friends lead to discipline at a Florida school?

's Profile Image Whether or not your child’s conversations at home, whether on a telephone or a computer, can lead to disciplinary action at school, really depends on the facts. For example, if a child is having a conversation about bullying or harming another student, or creating some sort of disruption in the school, the school has a good argument for the discipline. If something like that occurs, you should consult with an education attorney, tell him or her the facts, and let them advise you as to how to proceed.  Read More

Can my child pray at a public school in Florida?

's Profile Image Your child can individually pray at a Florida public school so long as the prayer is not coercive or doesn’t disrupt the school. For example, your child can say a blessing before his or her meal at lunch, however, the school cannot sponsor or be seen to sponsor the prayer. Read More

Can my child be suspended from a Florida public school without a hearing?

's Profile Image Whether or not your child could be suspended from a public school in the State of Florida without a hearing depends on the nature of the suspension. If the suspension is for less than 10 days then the child has a right to be heard, but not necessarily has a right to a formal hearing. If the suspension is more than 10 days then the law requires that a formal hearing be held, normally before the local school board. Read More

Can I sue a school in Florida for violating FERPA?

's Profile Image Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that students do not have a private action under FERPA. However, you may have an action under Florida state law. For instance, there could be privacy violations or perhaps a negligence claim that can be asserted. You should consult with an education attorney, tell him or her the circumstances of your case, and have them advise you. Read More

Can I speak at Florida school board meetings?

's Profile Image Generally, yes, you can speak at school board meetings in the State of Florida. In accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law, school board meetings are open to the public except for some contract negotiations. You should consult with your local school board to make sure you understand the policies and procedures and what you have to do to get on the agenda to speak. Read More

Can civil cases be appealed in Florida?

's Profile Image Yes, civil cases, just like criminal cases, can be appealed in Florida. Read More

Can any attorney argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court?

's Profile Image Not every attorney can argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. You have to be a member of the Supreme Court Bar Association, and there are specific requirements to be admitted as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Read More

Can animals besides cats and dogs act as emotional support animals/assistance animals in Florida?

's Profile Image Yes, animals, besides cats and dogs, can act as emotional support animals in the State of Florida. There actually have been cases that have dealt with the question of whether an miniature horse can be an emotional support animal, and even a guinea pig. Learn more about Animal and Pet Law in our practice areas. Read More

Can a teacher lead a prayer at a Florida public school?

's Profile Image It is unconstitutional for a teacher to pray with or pray in the presence of students at a public school in Florida. Due to the unique nature of a public school teacher, they’re considered government employees and any prayer by such an employee would be considered an endorsement of religion by the school which violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Read More

Can a person have more than one service or emotional support animal in Florida?

's Profile Image There’s no rule or case law that says a person cannot have more than one emotional support animal in Florida. The criteria would be the same. You would have to show that you have a disability in which the emotional support animal mitigates or helps you deal with that disability. Read More

Can a Florida landlord or housing provider delay granting my request for an emotional support animal/assistance animal?

's Profile Image HUD says that a Florida landlord or a housing provider cannot unreasonably delay your request for an emotional support animal. Unfortunately, reasonable delay has not been defined. But the answer is no, that they cannot delay it. You can learn more in our Animal and Pet Law practice area. Read More

Can a Florida landlord or housing provider ban my emotional animal/assistance animal based on breed?

's Profile Image According to the Office of Housing and Urban Development, a Florida landlord cannot ban your specific animal based on breed, size, weight, or other factors. The only thing they can do is limit your specific animal if your animal has specific tendencies to be dangerous or has been dangerous in the past. Read More

Accused of cheating by gaining an academic advantage? Defense tips from a lawyer for students.

's Profile Image What is considered gaining an academic advantage? Most colleges believe that any action that puts you in a better position than other students is gaining an academic advantage. This means that some of the following could fall under this category: Being absent for a test and asking a friend what was on it Having someone else edit a paper or your homework Working with another person to complete assigned work How do I prove I wasn’t purposely absent on exam day? If you believe the professor does not have any other evidence to support the cheating accusation, bring a note from a doctor with you. If you were sick and stopped by the health clinic then this could be one way of proving your innocence. Can you help me fight a charge of cheating by gaining an academic advantage? Yes. I help students all over the country defend against academic integrity and honor code violations. I assist students using my nearly twenty years as an attorney combined with a specialized knowledge of the university disciplinary process to help students achieve positive results. I tried to defend myself and lost the academic hearing. Can you help me appeal? Yes. I write appeals for students facing academic sanctions like a failing course grade, notation on transcripts, suspension, and even expulsion from school. Writing a winning student appeal takes an attorney with experience. Can you help all college students that need a college suspension appeal? Yes. I work with students all over the country who are facing discipline in college. Call today for a free consultation. Richard Asselta is an award-winning attorney who students. Call today to avoid a suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from your university. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website. Read More

Can a Florida landlord or housing provider ask details about my disability?

's Profile Image A Florida landlord or a housing provider cannot ask you details about your disability. They may, however, ask you questions about the nature of your disability and why you need the animal. But they cannot ask you specific questions related to the disability. Read More

Caught cheating in school. Should you try to defend your actions? An attorney for students answers.

's Profile Image You were caught cheating red handed. Your teacher saw you copying answers on an exam or cheating in another way. Should you try to defend yourself? Yes. Here is why. Should I just admit to cheating and accept the punishment? That depends on your universities academic integrity policy. A punishment for an honor code violation could range from a warning up to expulsion. You have to find out what your punishment will be. If you are facing a probation, suspension, or expulsion, you need to strongly think about trying to defend your actions.  Why should I defend myself if I was caught cheating? Even thought you were caught and the evidence shows you cheated, there is still negotiation in your punishment. I have helped students all over the country reduce the punishment they are facing by using the college academic integrity process.  How do I negotiate down my punishment for cheating? That depends on many factors and your specific situation. However, no matter what the circumstances, there are always arguments that can be made.  Can you help me if I was caught cheating in school? Yes. I help students all over the country facing accusations of cheating. My specialized experience with the academic integrity process gives students the best chance at success. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on Avvo, an attorney review website.  Read More

As a teacher in Florida, what can I do if my principal does not like me and gives me an unsatisfactory evaluation?

's Profile Image In Florida, teacher evaluations are based on a specific rubric. Therefore, your principal’s personal opinion of you should have nothing to do with your evaluation. If you receive a bad evaluation, and if you believe it’s due to your principal’s personal opinion, you should consult an education law attorney. Read More

As a Florida school district employee, how should I respond to a negative evaluation?

's Profile Image As a Florida school district employee, if you receive a negative evaluation, you should respond in writing as it will become part of your personnel file. You also have the right to request a certain amount of designated reviews. You should consult your specific school district’s handbook to understand what that process is. Read More

Are there appeals in Florida arbitration?

's Profile Image There are appeals in Florida arbitration. The first step in the process is you would file an action in the Circuit Court. If you’re not happy with that decision, you then can take an appeal to the appellate division. However, the circumstances of appealing and arbitration are very limited, so you should consult with an experienced appellate attorney who can better explain these circumstances and limitations to you. Read More

Accused of cheating or plagiarism after graduating? Can your university rescind your degree? The answer from a defense attorney for students.

's Profile Image Universities take plagiarism very serious. Students work hard to earn their degree and conferral is celebrated. However, can your university rescind your degree if they find out you cheated or plagiarized? I graduated and have been working in the field with my degree. Can my university rescind it? The short answer is yes. If the college believes that you committed an academic integrity violation, they can open an investigation into the incident. If you are found responsible for cheating or plagiarism, they can rescind your degree. The accusations are not true, how can I defend myself? The process a graduate faces is the same that a current student faces. There will be an investigation into the incident and an committee hearing held. You must prepare your best defense to the allegations to protect your degree. I am being accused of plagiarism years after my dissertation was completed. Can my university do that? Yes. If the university received information that you earned a doctorate or other advanced degree by possibly cheating or plagiarizing, they can investigate. If there is merit to the allegation, they will charge you. If you are charged with an honor code violation, you must defend yourself to prevent the school from taking action against your degree. Can you help me stop the university from rescinding my degree? Yes. I help students all over the country build successful academic integrity defenses.  Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on Avvo, an attorney review website.  Read More

Are Florida animal cases done on contingency?

's Profile Image Florida animal law cases are normally not handled on contingency. The reason being is because damages in these cases are usually limited. They’re limited to things like veterinary care, possibly ongoing care of the animal. So because your damages are rather finite and limited, normally these cases are handled on either a flat fee basis or hourly. Read More

Accused of cheating after taking a make-up exam? Tips from a defense lawyer for students.

's Profile Image Students miss exams or paper deadlines for many reasons: illness, family emergencies, and other unexpected issues can arise. Most professors are understanding and will work with a student if they keep them informed. However, what can happen if after you get an extension for a paper or take a make-up exam and are then accused of cheating? Read on for tips from a defense attorney for students. How do I prove I am not making up an excuse for being absent? If you believe the professor does not have any other evidence to support the cheating accusation, bring a note from a doctor with you. If you were sick and stopped by the health clinic then this could be one way of proving your innocence. If it was a family issue – plane tickets or other travel receipts could back up your situation. I was charged with gaining an academic advantage, can you help me fight the academic integrity charge?  Yes. I help students all over the country defend against academic integrity and honor code violations. I assist students using my nearly twenty years as an attorney combined with a specialized knowledge of the university disciplinary process to help students achieve positive results. I tried to defend myself and lost the academic hearing. Can you help me appeal? Yes. I write appeals for students facing academic sanctions like a failing course grade, notation on transcripts, suspension, and even expulsion from school. Writing a winning student appeal takes an attorney with experience. Can you help all college students that need a college suspension appeal? Yes. I work with students all over the country who are facing discipline in college. Call today for a free consultation. Richard Asselta is an award-winning attorney who students. Call today to avoid a suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from your university. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website. Read More

Am I required to have a lawyer for an appeal in the State of Florida?

's Profile Image You’re not required to have a lawyer to file your appeal in Florida. However, you should understand that if you do represent yourself, the court is going to hold you to the same standards and professionalism as an attorney would be held. Read More

Am I entitled to due process in a Florida private school?

's Profile Image Generally, you are not entitled to due process in a Florida private school. The reason being is because private schools do not have to follow the Constitution. That being said, most private schools have a handbook that contains policies and procedures which they’re required to follow. If those policies and procedures have not been followed in regards to you or your child, then you may have an action. You can learn more in our Education and School law practice area. Read More

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