Baltimore Title IX Lawyer
Accusations of sexual misconduct against college students can be devastating and have highly damaging consequences. Aside from the threat of suspension or expulsion from campus, students face the potential for criminal prosecution, incarceration, and mandatory sex offender registration.
If you or your adult child is facing college conduct code proceedings as a result of a Title IX violation, criminal prosecution for a sex offense, or both, you are likely to need the assistance of a Baltimore Title IX lawyer.
A finding of sexual misconduct by campus officials can lead to an inability to continue your college education at any institution. It also can lead to a permanent criminal record that could be extremely prejudicial when you are applying for jobs or seeking to enter specific career fields. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to intervene in both administrative and criminal proceedings to defend you against these possible consequences.
Title IX and College Students
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1974, which is part of the Civil Rights Act, prohibits sex discrimination at any federally funded educational institutions programs and activities.
As a practical matter, Title IX applies to most colleges and universities, so they must comply with specific procedures requiring the prompt investigation of claims of sexual misconduct by students on campus. This can include claims of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment.
The requirements that Title IX imposes on college campuses has created an atmosphere in which school administrators judge students accused of sexual misconduct quickly and harshly.
Not only can this have severe repercussions for the educational and professional futures of these students, but it can lead to criminal prosecution on sex crime charges, which has its own set of severe consequences. When facing any Title IX allegations, enlisting the help of a Title IX lawyer in Baltimore may be highly advisable.
Distinguishing Between Criminal and Disciplinary Proceedings
Criminal prosecutions require a myriad of constitutional protections for individuals accused of any crime, including sex offenses. These protections include:
- The right to be represented by counsel
- The right to remain silent and refrain from incriminating statements
- A presumption of innocence until proven guilty
- Evidence showing proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
All these rights help protect accused persons from wrongful convictions and the resulting penalties. Unfortunately, individuals accused of sexual misconduct on campus and violations of Title IX enjoy no similar protections.
Instead, students have no right to be represented by counsel. In some cases, they have access to a Title IX “counselor” or “advisor,” but this person is rarely a lawyer, which makes everything said to that person admissible in any subsequent criminal prosecution and unprotected by the attorney-client privilege.
Furthermore, while students can remain silent to avoid incriminating themselves, the likely result will be a finding of misconduct by campus officials, since they will have no evidence to find otherwise.
Another critical distinction is the standard of proof in these proceedings. Defendants in criminal cases have a presumption of innocence, in that the prosecution is responsible for proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard of proof that requires a finding that the evidence can lead to no other conclusion except the guilt of the accused.
In student disciplinary proceedings, however, the standard of proof is exceedingly low. If the disciplinary board or officers find by a preponderance of the evidence that the allegations are true, or that it is more likely than not that sexual misconduct occurred, then they will determine that the accused students violated the conduct code.
As a Title IX attorney in Baltimore can attest, the potential outcome of student disciplinary proceedings can be devastating to the accused students.
Talk to a Baltimore Title IX Attorney Today
Allegations of sexual misconduct on campus can be disastrous to your personal life and your academic career. They also can lead to criminal prosecution, which can have even more severe consequences. A Baltimore Title IX lawyer can be essential in protecting you from these potential repercussions.
There are many defenses to sexual misconduct charges that may be applicable in your case. The incidents that lead to accusations of misconduct are typically not as straightforward as the accuser might allege them to be, which can make criminal prosecution a more difficult task. Getting legal representation from the moment that you face accusations of misconduct can be crucial to defending yourself against these charges.