If you are a student who got a notice that your school is investigating you for sexual harassment or sexual assault, you must have a nationwide Title IX defense lawyer defending you. Under the Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, public and private educational institutions such as colleges and universities are prohibited from discrimination based on sex or gender. Check their website now.
Colleges and universities vary in the way they handle Title IX cases. An attorney who specializes, in this case, knows how to navigate the procedures of the school when conducting disciplinary proceedings that may be unfavorable to you. Your school should make the procedures available to you in your student handbook or sexual misconduct policy. Your attorney will review such procedures to determine a lack of due process or inherent bias in the way the school conducts disciplinary proceedings.
What should you do after being informed of the charge against you?
Every educational institute has its method for addressing Title IX violation allegations to ensure that the process is fair to each side. After being informed of such an allegation against you, you may feel distressed and frustrated. In your emotional state and lack of clarity regarding your situation, you may act in a manner that will negatively affect your case. You must remain calm and objective.
Be silent and do not discuss this matter with your friends, classmates, faculty, and investigators. It is also recommended to stay away from social media during this time. Immediately contact a loved one you trust, such as a family member, and seek an attorney’s expertise with them.
What does your attorney do?
Often, students and their parents may proceed with the legal procedure to defend the violation without an experienced lawyer on their side. They do not understand the severity of the charges and how it could damage the accused student’s future. Having a lawyer’s assistance from the beginning can help ease your stress and enables you to defend yourself in the initial stages of the proceedings instead of going through the complex procedure of appealing the decision.
The lawyer carefully assesses your case and the charges against you. They have helped several students in a similar position as you before and are aware of the right course of action you should take. The valuable advice they offer can prevent you from making bad decisions. They understand that the laws of your case are challenging to understand and explain your rights and ensure that they are protected. They clarify any doubts about the situation and provide excellent legal support and strategies.
Title IX Investigation
Many colleges and universities start with an investigation by an official that a Title IX coordinator may choose. Your attorney serves as your advisor to advocate for you throughout the process. They will prepare you for the interviews by the investigator and review the investigation report to find errors that can be used in your favor, like failure to take into account or weigh the evidence. If it is not possible to change the report, your lawyer will preserve the record to use as evidence for filing a federal lawsuit when you are found responsible for sexual misconduct.
Your Title IX lawyer will advise how your school should treat you fairly and unbiasedly. Thus, you or your lawyer can review the materials the accuser presented her testimony and submit questions for cross-examining the accuser and their witness. Also, you should be allowed to give your own materials and witnesses. The presence of a lawyer ensures that your defense is strong and enables you to attain a fair outcome. Should the school fail to give you these rights, your lawyer will fight to get due process.
Lawyers are trained to be skilled negotiators, and they can apply several tactics to negotiate with the school’s attorneys on your behalf. They provide favorable evidence and prove the lack of credibility of the accusations against their client. They work dedicatedly to help you reach a fair resolution after your case. If the school attorneys find you guilty, your lawyer negotiates for reduced penalties to prevent you from suffering severe punishment and protect your future.
Most educational institutions allow the respondent of allegations to file an appeal after completing the investigation and reaching a decision. If the school examines the evidence and does find you responsible for the alleged offense, an attorney should be at your side to prepare the best appeal. Also, they can seek to delay the sanctions until a committee can hear or decide your appeal. It is necessary to take quick action while filing an appeal because the deadline you have to comply with is extremely short.
If the appeal cannot reverse the school’s findings, your lawyer will preserve the record on deficiencies and biases in the process that occurred when filing a discrimination lawsuit against your school. A Title IX lawsuit can reverse school convictions.
What are the consequences of violating Title IX?
The Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a civil rights law enforced to protect individuals from suffering from sex-based discrimination in any school or federally funded educational program. If a person violates this law, they may face severe penalties that affect their future.
Although the penalties vary based on the violations, some consequences include suspension, expulsion, probation, loss of scholarships, restitution, and revocation of a degree. These are permanently present on their academic record and may prevent them from completing their education or finding employment. A Title IX accusation drastically impacts your future, and you need to have the guidance of a lawyer when you navigate through the legal procedure.
No matter what stage of defense you will be at, you can rely on a Title IX attorney to be with you throughout. Choosing the right attorney also plays a significant role in the outcome of your case. Ensure you choose an attorney with a good track record of successfully defending accused students. Your attorney understands how mentally straining the situation is for you and takes care of all the legal complexities during the defense procedure. Their constant guidance smoothens the process and helps you achieve a favorable resolution.