Concurrent College Park Criminal and Title IX Investigations
Students accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault in College Park may find themselves enmeshed in a Title IX disciplinary proceeding at school at the same time they are involved in a criminal investigation. The procedures for each differ substantially, so it is wise to seek guidance from a legal advocate who understands how to defend against allegations in both settings.
Protecting your rights during concurrent College Park criminal investigations and Title IX proceedings presents unique challenges. It is wise to avoid taking actions in one proceeding that could negatively impact the outcome in the second proceeding.
Cooperation Between Investigations
There are numerous recommended protocols for cooperation during concurrent criminal investigations and Title IX proceedings in College Park and elsewhere. Many times, concurrent investigations are completed independently. Criminal and campus investigators work on their own, although they may share information when their investigation reaches a particular stage.
In other situations, the investigation may be conducted jointly with criminal and Title IX investigators communicating both formally and informally. Investigators may even coordinate their efforts and investigate all or part of a case simultaneously, although this is rare.
During the investigations, police and university investigators will be gathering facts regarding the incident that led to the allegations of a Title IX violation. Police will be looking for information to assist in the prosecution of the offense.
The university investigator should be conducting an impartial investigation and giving equal weight to statements by both parties. However, given the pressure put on universities to eliminate all forms of sexual harassment, universities want to be perceived as vigilant in addressing allegations of sexual misconduct. So, the university investigation may also tend to focus on finding evidence to support the allegations. During concurrent College Park criminal and Title IX investigations, accused students would be wise to conduct their own investigations with the assistance of an experienced defense advocate in order to present a persuasive case in their defense.
Different Standards Apply
In concurrent criminal investigations and Title IX proceedings in College Park, investigators will be seeking information to apply to a different standard of review. Criminal investigators will need evidence showing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, Title IX investigators only need to find evidence to show the accused student was 51% or more likely to have committed the alleged behavior. So, a student may be found innocent of a criminal charge but still held responsible for a Title IX violation based on the same evidence.
In most cases, a College Park Title IX investigation will proceed at a quicker rate than a criminal investigation. The campus proceedings may be resolved well before the criminal proceeding, so it is helpful to be aware that findings in one setting could prejudice findings in the other.
Often parties will be interviewed separately for concurrent College Park criminal investigations and Title IX proceedings, and their statements may differ significantly.
Also, the rules of evidence that would prevent certain evidence from being presented as part of a criminal case do not apply in Title IX adjudications on campus. Overall, the facts submitted for determination may be substantially different in the two proceedings.
Get Help with Concurrent Criminal Investigations and Title IX Proceedings
The official consequences of Title IX proceedings differ from those that may result
from a criminal investigation. However, the final outcome can be strikingly similar. A finding of a Title IX violation could have negative consequences for a student’s life that stretch far into the future and affect job prospects, further education, and even personal relationships.
Anyone facing concurrent College Park criminal investigations and Title IX proceedings needs to understand how to protect their rights and develop a defensive strategy to help move forward. Assistance from an attorney with Title IX and criminal defense experience is advised.