How Serious Are the Consequences of Sexual Misdemeanor in College?


It’s becoming a little more commonplace these days to hear about sexual assault cases taking place across the US on college campuses. It’s a time where teenagers and young adults are understanding themselves, their sexual orientations, and how to explore and set their boundaries, and of course, this means there are going to be issues and problematic situations.

Whether someone has an issue with their mental health, such as an unawareness of boundaries, pornographic addiction, and so on, or someone makes a drunken mistake, you may still find yourself accused and charged for sexual assault or a sexual misdemeanour. The question is, how badly can these charges affect your college career and education? 

In this guide, we’ll find out.

Variations from Place to Place

It seems as though colleges up and down the country have their own standards regarding which students will face what form of punishment (if any) if they are accused of significant violations. Some schools seem to be incredibly proactive in addressing the situation, publicly or otherwise, whereas it’s clear that some try to sweep things under the rug.

Some pupils will get away with their crimes in the shadows, whereas others can become public news. However, it can vary dramatically with how serious these charges are pursued. Some people are accused, and nothing happens. Others are charged, and their whole worlds are turned upside down. It really does feel like a coin flip from time to time.

What Is a Sexual Misdemeanor and How Does It Happen?

Sexual misdemeanour charges might have a negative impact on your college career.

If you are a student who has been charged with a sexual misdemeanour, you should be aware that the charges will have an impact on your college career.

According to Penal Code Section 243.4 (PC 243.4), a sexual misdemeanour can umbrella a number of situations which could be anything from a grope to an unwanted kiss and sometimes something more severe. However, anything more than this is typically charged as sexual assault, and this will be charged more severely. For clarity, misdemeanours are typically classed as:

  • Arousal in a sexual relationship
  • satisfaction through sexual activity; or
  • Abuse of a sexual nature

The legislation can be applied to almost any unwanted sexually motivated touching, including kissing someone who doesn’t want to be kissed.

What Are The Consequences Of Being Charged With a Sexual Misdemeanor?

Depending on the circumstances of the conduct and your criminal history, the District Attorney’s office may charge you with a misdemeanour or felony violation.

A misdemeanour conviction can result in up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both. 

A felony conviction can result in a sentence of two, four, or six years in state prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Most importantly, a violation of PC 243.4 is a sex offence that can be registered. 

Even if your conviction is overturned after you complete probation, you will still be required to register as a sex offender. 

For example, in California, sex offender registration is required for the rest of one’s life. 

Other sex offender registration repercussions you may face as a result of a conviction for a sexual misdemeanour include, but are not limited to:

Unless you are eligible for an exclusion, your photo and information will be displayed publicly on Megan’s Law (, but other proceeds can vary from state to state.

You could also land up on privately run “offender” websites (such as,,,, and so on).

Employment discrimination: Despite the fact that it is against the law, employers are hesitant to hire a sex offender and will frequently refuse to hire you for other reasons.

In towns or counties where a municipal ordinance is enforced, being within 300-500 feet or dwelling within 2,000 feet of sites where children are likely to be located is forbidden (e.g. parks, schools, daycare centres, school bus stops, playgrounds, public libraries and swimming pools). You will need trusted sex crime attorneys to help with your case.

You may also be subject to other consequences that include:

  • Harassment and vigilantism from others
  • Difficulty obtaining a home lease
  • Having trouble getting into a college or university
  • Dismissal from school


As you can see, there are certainly consequences to being charged with a sexual misdemeanour, but there’s no hard and fast rule as to what this means for you where you are and will depend on the individual situation of where you are and the details of the case.

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