If you or someone you know has been accused of sexual misconduct on a college campus in Ohio, you’re not only facing potential criminal charges–you will also be the subject of a Title IX investigation by your school.
This could lead to suspension from your university or even expulsion from your degree program.
The same goes for professors and university staff. Faculty and staff may be accused of sexual misconduct that would fall under Title IX, leading to serious repercussions and potentially loss of employment.
If it sounds scary, that’s because it can be. That’s why if you’re facing a Title IX allegation, it’s critical that you contact an experienced Title IX defense attorney like Hiltner Trial Lawyers. From our team, here’s what you need to know if you’re facing an allegation.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed in 1972 that states “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
In other words, Title IX covers discrimination based on sex, as well as sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence accusations involving students at colleges and universities that receive federal dollars.
What does a Title IX investigation entail?
It’s important to remember that the school’s investigation will be separate from any potential criminal or civil investigation you may be facing. When it comes to the school’s investigation, you can expect the following to happen:
- Interviews, evidence, etc.: The school will gather evidence in the “case” the same way law enforcement would. The investigation may feel pretty similar to the separate law enforcement investigation, but the punishment for a Title IX violation is not criminal in nature.
- Restrictions on the accused: You may not be able to participate in certain campus activities while the investigation is underway, and you very likely won’t be allowed to contact your accuser.
- Making a statement: The school will hold a meeting where the accused is allowed to make a statement – with a lawyer present. The school will offer you an advisor to represent you, but an advisor is not an attorney. If you want an attorney experienced in student defense, you’ll need to hire one.
- Sexual assault hearings: These hearings can often be set up in a way that’s unfair to the accused, especially if you’re innocent. You could end up kicked out of school for something you didn’t even do. In most cases, the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case.
What to do if you’re accused
Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to Title IX accusations:
- Contact an experienced Ohio Title IX defense attorney immediately.
- Keep records of all your communications with school officials, law enforcement and the person accusing you.
- Answer questions about the events that led up to the Title IX accusation before consulting with your lawyer.
- Contact the person accusing you.
Contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers today
Title IX allegations should be taken seriously — and handled by an advocate who knows how Title IX investigations and hearings work. Contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers today for a consultation.