Those accused of a Title IX violation should seek legal help. Title IX investigations do not always give legal protection to defendants; however, they do have universal rights. A student facing a sexual misconduct allegation on campus is entitled to due process of law. Every federally-funded school should implement its Title IX policies and procedures in a way that considers such rights. Defendants must hire a Title IX defense lawyer and get helpful legal advice. A sexual misconduct accusation can impact their academic and future professional prospects. And they should rely on the expertise of an attorney to avoid these consequences. The attorney will ensure the legal rights of the accused are respected. These rights include the following:
The Right to a Fair, Prompt, and Impartial Investigation
Under Title IX, schools must perform a prompt, fair, and partial investigation as well as resolution as they handle sexual misconduct complaints. Assessing whether such requirement is being met can be hard, but schools implement varying procedures and rules. Also, the circumstances that surround Title IX disputes can vary. Thus, whether a defendant gets a fair investigation depends on the facts.
Confidentiality in Disciplinary Proceedings
Whatever took place in the disciplinary process should be kept confidential. This includes investigation and hearing records. Should this record be leaked and result in a negative effect, the defendant could have a damage claim against the school.
Both parties involved in a Title IX dispute can have an advisor during the disciplinary proceedings. The student can pick an advisor, who can be a skilled Title IX lawyer. To resolve the case as quickly as possible, the school may contact the accused about the violation while the student doesn’t have access to an advisor. But the student can refuse to speak with an investigation or school administrator about the proceedings until they can hire an advisor. Sometimes, communicating with this party can result in disclosure that can undermine the arguments of the defendant.
Title IX provides equal opportunities when it comes to procedures for the accused student and the accused student. For instance, if the accuser is allowed to introduce a witness to give supportive testimony, the accused must also be allowed to cross-examine the witness.
But even if this equal opportunity requirement seems simple, a lot of schools act in a way that undermines the ability of the accused to benefit from the same opportunities the complainant has. Because of this, a defendant should have an attorney on their side to help ensure the school treats them fairly.