Title IX: Rights of the AccusedTitle IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 provides the process by which colleges and universities handle complaints of sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. It applies to every college and university that receives federal funding.
While the process for Title IX investigations can vary from school to school, the process does not favor the accused. Too often, college students are falsely accused of sexual assault and don’t have the rights they deserve to successfully defend themselves in Title IX investigations.
However, the rights of the accused under Title IX include the right to have an attorney help them throughout the investigation process. Although attorneys cannot speak during Title IX proceedings, they can provide the advice you need to avoid expulsion and even a criminal conviction.
If you face a Title IX investigation at a college or university in Ohio, you should contact an Ohio student conduct attorney today. Hiring an attorney provides you with the best chance of keeping your future in your control.
Rights of the Accused Student or Faculty MemberTitle IX investigations don’t provide the accused with as many rights or as much due process as they would receive in the criminal justice system.
Student and Faculty RightsUnder Title IX, rights of the accused faculty member or student are fewer than the rights of those accused in the criminal justice system. Accused students and faculty members can face disciplinary consequences and even expulsion or termination from their school while legal proceedings are pending. Schools can severely punish students and faculty members in Title IX investigations even if criminal charges have been reduced or dropped.
Due ProcessThe rights of the accused in Title IX investigations do not include as much due process as in criminal cases. Title IX investigations tend to favor the accuser and the school. For example, there is a lower burden of proof in Title IX investigations than in criminal cases. In Title IX investigations, the burden is on the school to show that it is more likely than not that the accused committed the offense at issue.
Additionally, school administrators tend to take the side of the accuser in Title IX investigations and overlook key evidence the accused might present.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney can help you protect the few rights you have in Title IX investigations.
Title IX InvestigationsEach college and university in the United States has its own procedure for Title IX investigations. However, they all involve Title IX coordinators, correspondence with the accused, and an administrative hearing.
Title IX CoordinatorAll colleges and universities must have a designated Title IX coordinator who deals with reports, complaints, and enforcement under Title IX.
The coordinator’s specific duties include:
- Interviewing parties and witnesses,
- Reviewing evidence,
- Making determinations of whether a Title IX violation occurred, and
- Recommending sanctions.
CorrespondenceThe Title IX investigations process begins with the coordinator sending the accused a letter. The letter usually serves as a warning and states that the accused cannot have any contact with the accuser. The accused will next receive another letter from the coordinator requesting a meeting and for the accused to give a statement.
HearingThe next step in a Title IX investigation is an administrative hearing at the school. Generally, Title IX hearings involve a panel composed of faculty members. The faculty members review the evidence and accusations brought against the accused. They will decide whether the accused violated the school’s code of conduct and recommend any punishment.
Because Title IX hearings are not part of the criminal justice system, they often involve vague rules. Sometimes, this can result in a school expelling a student before their hearing even takes place. Additionally, some panel members may be biased against those accused of sexual assault. This can make it harder for the accused to persuade the panel to believe him or her.
It is important to understand that these hearings are separate from the criminal justice system. This means that the accused may be subject to criminal charges in addition to any consequences resulting from the hearing.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help the Accused in a Title IX Investigation?If you face a Title IX investigation, you should contact a Columbus student conduct attorney as soon as possible. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is your best shot at avoiding expulsion and an arrest.
A criminal defense attorney can explain the charges against you and help you understand the severity of the situation. An attorney will encourage you to cooperate with the investigation, even if it is unfair. In some circumstances, an attorney will instruct you not to answer questions so that you don’t incriminate yourself.
The nationally recognized and locally respected Ohio criminal defense attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm understand the potential consequences of a Title IX investigation. They will care about you and fight to get you the best possible result.
By Brian Joslyn
Contact the team today to schedule your consultation.
Joslyn Law Firm
501 S High St
Columbus, OH 43215