Title IX Defense
An area of the law that has increased dramatically over the past few years is issues surrounding Title IX (sometimes referred to as Title 9) defense and procedures. Universities around the nation are required to follow certain procedures when a member of a university makes an accusation under Title IX. A Title IX accusation can later result in suspension, expulsion, and criminal charges against the accused. If you or a loved one is confronting a Title IX claim, then you need to contact a Title IX defense attorney immediately. Below is a discussion of the general process of a Title IX investigation but I urge you to contact an attorney immediately.
One of the first issues to be aware of in a Title IX defense case is that the traditional rules of a criminal case does not apply. In a criminal case, the prosecution must meet a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in order to secure a conviction. In a Title IX case, the burden of proof standard is only a “preponderance of the evidence”. In plain English, this simply means more likely than not. Additionally, the accused does not always have the opportunity to confront their accuser. Criminal defendants are given this opportunity. Hearsay statements and other evidence that is typically inadmissible in a criminal case may be admitted during a Title IX investigation. These issues are why it is critical to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
After an accusation has been reported to the university, the school will notify the accused and an investigation will begin. During this investigation, the school may interview witnesses including the accused to make some preliminary findings. If the university finds that there is a reasonable possibility that a violation did occur, then a formal accusation will be made and a date will be set for a hearing.
The hearing for a Title IX violation will involve university personnel confronting the accused with evidence against them. Once again, many of the safeguards provided to the accused in a criminal setting will not apply in this environment. If the school finds that a Title Nine violation has occurred, the next phase will involve the school’s disciplinary committee deciding on punishment. The punishment can range from requiring a student to complete counseling or other treatment up to expulsion from the university. An accused individual does have the right to appeal the decision to another panel as dictated by the school.
When first notified of a Title IX investigation, many people mistakenly believe that the school will believe them and that the investigation will be fair. Unfortunately, the reality is that schools face tremendous pressure to err on the side against the accused. Please reach out today so that I can learn more about your case and help you build a defense that protects your future.