One of the proudest moments of a young adult’s life is being accepted into college. It is usually one of their parents’ proudest days as well. Unfortunately, there is one thing that can crush those dreams and that excitement quickly: A Title IX investigation. Title IX investigations on college campuses are typically the result of an alleged sex assault or sexual misconduct. These allegations can lead to severe penalties for the student and, if substantiated, can even lead to expulsion. Although Title IX investigations are separate from criminal proceedings, the student still has some basic rights.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that came from the Education Amendments of 1972. The purpose of Title IX is to provide equal protection under the law and equal opportunity for all students. Unfortunately, some universities and colleges have adopted policies and procedures that deny students meaningful due process rights when they are falsely accused of some type of sexual misconduct.
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The Title IX Investigation Process
A student is typically notified of a Title IX investigation when they receive a letter in the mail explaining that an investigation is an ongoing. The student will be asked to come in for an interview with the Title IX investigator, and the investigator will submit a recommendation based on the evidence they have obtained. Based on the recommendation of the investigator, the student may be summoned to a hearing where a final decision will be made.
3 Things to Know
Whenever an individual is going off to college, there are three tips that our team at Berry Law generally offer to the prospective student and their parents:
- Any time you are accused of sexual misconduct, you have the right to contact an attorney immediately. If you are a student or the parent of a student who has been accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, you have the right to have an attorney present every step of the way.
- Anything you say in a Title IX hearing can and will be used against you not only at that hearing, but also could be used against you in a criminal proceeding as well. You should understand that the consequences can be more severe than the potential penalties the university or college will impose. You may also face criminal charges, and the facts provided in the Title IX hearing can be used at trial.
- Take the allegations seriously. Any time an individual makes an allegation, it is serious. The Title IX investigator will take the accusation seriously and so will local law enforcement. Even if you are completely innocent, you will need to navigate carefully to avoid problems. Avoid making flippant or dismissive comments that could be taken out of context.
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Title IX Defense Attorneys
Title IX accusations can have detrimental effects on a student’s life and academic career. If the accusation is substantiated, a student will most likely face severe penalties from the University, up to and including expulsion. These penalties can chase a student for life, inhibiting enrollment at other universities as well. At Berry Law, our Title IX attorneys understand the complex process of Title IX investigations and hearings, and we have experience defending clients in these cases. If you or somebody you know has been accused of sexual misconduct, we may be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.
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