Mon Jan 1st6th Circuit: Accused Student Entitled to Confront Witnesses in Disciplinary Proceeding
Title IX Defense
College and University students accused of Title IX violations like sexual misconduct are not always assured of their due process rights. At Harvey & Binnall, we proudly and vigorously represent students charged with Title IX violations to ensure that the due process rights of students charged with conduct violations, including Title IX claims like harassment, date rape, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence, are protected.
As Title IX defense attorneys, we believe that no matter how bad the allegations against a student are, everyone is entitled to due process and a vigorous defense – and we believe that is not happening in far too many schools throughout America. Title IX administrators and investigators are often unaware of the legal ramifications of Title IX charges and university students are often unaware of their right to due process during Title IX proceedings – rights that should be protected especially if the college student faces the possibility of criminal charges that stem from the Title IX allegations.
What is Title IX? Our Title IX Defense Attorneys Explain
Originally passed in 1972 to require schools to provide equal access to facilities and programs to men and women, over the years Title IX has expanded to include a requirement that any public or private school that receives federal funding must investigate reports of sexual violence. The schools are required to interview suspects, collect statements from any witnesses, gather evidence, and provide the accused student with a fair hearing before a neutral tribunal.
The results of this tribunal can have far-reaching implications for accused college or university students: Suspension or expulsion from school, the prospect of criminal charges that result in a “sex offender” label, being denied admission to another university or graduate school, and even hinder their ability to find a meaningful job years into the future.
There are several issues with these proceedings: some universities will have their legal teams present without offering the same protections to the student, basic due process protections guaranteed under the constitution are ignored and if a student’s rights go unprotected during the initial proceedings, appeals are much more difficult to win.
We protect the due process rights of college and university students charged with Title IX sex offenses.
If you or your son or daughter are facing Title IX allegations of sexual wrongdoing by a college or university, call the lawyers at Harvey & Binnall immediately. Our Alexandria, Virginia Title IX defense attorneys represent students at schools and in courtrooms around the United States to ensure that due process is followed by campus investigators and officials before a potentially life-altering decision is handed down.
Issues with Title IX charges
Students charged with Title IX violations are often forced to defend their actions in the face of the legal definition of a term rather than in the context of a long-term or short-term relationship. As just one example, many Title IX charges hinge on whether there was “consent.” The concept of consent within the setting of a Title IX procedure is often a vague, undefined term that depends on whether an individual was “stable” enough to give consent to a sexual act. It is understandably difficult to determine if consent was given and if it was reasonable for a student to believe consent was given when both parties are consuming alcohol or drugs. Yet many schools arbitrarily assign a definition even if it is unreasonable.
Another issue we have come across is how a school conducts their investigation and disciplinary hearing. We have represented students who were prohibited from confronting their accuser or prevented from having an open hearing with a final decision reached in private and the accused merely informed of the outcome. In this kind of a situation, we can ask a court to order the school to halt the proceedings or not enforce its decision.
What should you do if your college student is accused of a Title IX violation?
If you are accused of harassment, date rape, sexual assault at your college or university or the parent of a college or university student facing any type of disciplinary hearing at high school, college or university throughout the country, do not delay in contacting the Title IX defense attorneys at Harvey & Binnall. Your future or that of your college student may well depend on taking prompt action to make sure that due process rights are followed and upheld.