Giving You a Voice During Tough Times
If you are in school and have been accused of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, or another sexual allegation, you will likely be under a Title IX investigation. Title IX is a federal law that requires schools to provide equal access to facilities to both men and women. Title IX also mandates that all schools that receive federal funding must investigate reports of sexual violence as an act of discrimination.
During a Title IX investigation, institutions will interview witnesses, collect evidence, and review statements from those involved. A Title IX investigation is separate from a sex crime investigation done by law enforcement officers. However, the outcome of a Title IX investigation can still have significant penalties and impact your life in a big way.
Being under Title IX investigation is a stressful and overwhelming experience. If you need legal assistance, reach out today by calling 832-400-4133.
What is a Title IX Hearing?
After a Title IX investigation, institutions will hold a Title IX hearing. This hearing varies from school to school but is often similar to an administrative hearing where accused students or faculty members can defend themselves.
A Title IX investigation and hearing can last over a year. Hearings can result in suspension, expulsion, permanent marks on your academic record, and other disciplinary actions. Title IX hearings do not require the same burden of proof as criminal proceedings, making it difficult for defendants to protect their rights.
How Does Title IX Define Lack of Consent?
Lack of consent is a common aspect in many sexual offense allegations. For instance, you may be accused of a sexual offense because of actions you thought were consensual at the time. However, the consent given could be implied or clouded by intoxication, making it difficult to determine fault.
Title IX defines consent as affirmative consent from the other party. A lack of protest or resistance does not indicate consent, and it is up to all parties involved to ensure they have consent from the other participant(s). Consent can be withdrawn at any time and cannot be given by anyone incapacitated.
What Are Your Rights Under Title IX?
While Title IX investigations are serious, you still maintain certain rights even while under investigation. Institutions take Title IX investigations very seriously, as a failure to comply can mean losing federal funding.
Under Title IX, you have the following rights:
- You must be provided with written notice of your accuser’s complaints.
- Schools cannot block you from talking about the allegations.
- The school must give you a chance to present evidence in your defense.
- The burden of proof and the obligation to collect evidence lies with the school.
- Your school must provide written notice of disciplinary action.
- Your school must issue requests for interviews or hearings in writing.
- You can choose your own advisor or attorney to create a defense.
- You can request an investigative report that summarizes the evidence against you.
- You can appeal an adverse decision.
- Your school cannot access your private medical records without your consent.
The Title IX process can be prejudicial against the accused person. Due process and proof beyond a reasonable doubt are not expected nor required during a Title IX investigation. It is important to remember that you can speak to an attorney at any time.
Should I Consult a Title IX Lawyer?
Being accused of sexual misconduct is a serious allegation that can affect your education and your career. Title IX investigations are separate from criminal investigations and can lead to disciplinary action, including expulsion. While many people view Title IX investigations as less severe than criminal charges, the truth is they can negatively impact your life in a severe way.
Consulting a Title IX lawyer protects your rights and ensures that you are treated fairly during a Title IX investigation and hearing. Many Title IX investigators do not inform the accused of their rights, leading to them being treated unfairly or unlawfully. With a defense attorney on your side, you will have guidance through the Title IX process so you can create a defense strategy to protect yourself.