Students facing disciplinary action from their college or university can find the experience harrowing. Their reputation and education are at stake. If you are one of these students, you may undergo some type of disciplinary process the school will conduct. But, your rights can be ignored during this process. This is the reason you need a nationwide Title IX defense lawyer to make sure the school will properly consider your best interest.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX is enacted to eliminate discrimination based on sex from education. It requires all colleges and universities receiving federal funding to offer students an equal opportunity to education, no matter their gender. For courts, Title IX requires higher education institutions to prevent and remedy on-campus sexual harassment and violence since it interferes with students’ learning.
Title IX Hearings vs Criminal Trials
Even if a formal charge has not been filed against a student, a school may still consider holding a sexual misconduct hearing. Such a hearing may occur before a panel composed of faculty, students, and school staff, depending on the school. It is meant to determine a student’s innocence or guilt as well as evaluate the appropriateness of academic sanctions.
Under Title IX, the school is not obliged to conduct this hearing the way a court would. Thus, the accused student may not be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Also, they may not be allowed to cross-examine the accuser or have a lawyer represent them during the hearing.
So Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
Having an attorney on your side during a Title IX hearing is essential because it can help in challenging the system where your rights can be abridged. Although your lawyer doesn’t permit a lawyer’s presence at a hearing, they can help you understand your legal rights and stand up for them.
Moreover, the lawyer can review the elements of the college’s adjudication process that they can challenge in a criminal court. For example, when a student has been expelled from their school because of a biased adjudication process, the lawyer can petition a court and claim that the expulsion was discriminatory and that the student must be readmitted to the college.
The best attorney has helped different college and university students navigate sexual assault allegations on campus. They can represent the accused in court or in Title IX hearings. Those facing potential disciplinary action from their school must not sacrifice their rights. Instead, they should consult an experienced lawyer to help them deal with the legalities of their situation.