Students accused of misconduct are often unaware they have rights and how to protect them in disciplinary proceedings. It is essential that students are provided with legal counsel throughout the process so that they are not treated unfairly or that their interests can be protected.
Schools have a long-standing obligation to investigate and respond promptly to complaints of harassment or discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or race. They must respond quickly and fairly to Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination against students based on gender or any other protected characteristics.
A Title IX Lawyer Orlando can help you navigate the sometimes-complex disciplinary processes that universities use to address sexual misconduct allegations or other violations of the school’s Code of Conduct. This can include hearings or sanction boards, student panels or investigations.
An accuser might contact the Title IX office of the school and file an official report to begin the investigation into a complaint of sexual assault or harassment. This is often the first step in the investigation, and it may be a time-consuming process.
One of the most critical aspects in an investigation is gathering evidence. Before making any decision, it is essential that the investigator hears everything from both sides.
It is also vital that the investigator collects all relevant documentation and contact information from witnesses. This includes voice messages, emails, and text messages.
The investigator must carefully examine evidence collected to determine if it is related to an allegation about sexual misconduct. This can be a difficult task especially if the investigator doesn’t know the allegation well or is under pressure for quick decisions that satisfy their employer.
Interpreting evidence is also difficult. It can be easy, for example, to overlook that an accuser might have bias against the accused. It is crucial to have an experienced attorney-advisor present for any interviews or hearings.
An experienced attorney-advisor may ensure that the school is able access all the evidence necessary for a fair, thorough investigation. This can make a huge difference in the outcome.
Failure to comply with Title IX requirements can lead to civil penalties. The severity of the violation, as well as whether the student can prove that they were unfairly punished, determine the severity of the penalties.
College students and their families could be affected by Title IX violations. This is why it is so important that you have a Title IX lawyer by your side.
Another consequence of a Title IX violation is losing eligibility for financial aid and other forms of financial assistance. This can impact a student’s future financial security, including their ability to afford tuition and other expenses.
Suspension by a university is a severe penalty which can impact a student’s ability continue their education. This could lead to a gap of their academic transcript that could negatively impact their future career prospects.