Criminal Proceedings vs. College Park Campus Title IX Proceedings
A single incident in College Park may give rise to Title IX disciplinary proceedings on campus, criminal prosecution, and even a civil lawsuit. Students accused of sexual misconduct need to be aware of what to expect and how to protect their rights in different situations.
Although investigations in criminal proceedings vs. College Park campus Title IX proceedings may share many similarities, the proceedings differ in many crucial respects.
Because the potential consequences are substantial in both proceedings and one may have a negative impact on the result of the other, accused students are advised to seek legal counsel from an advocate with experience in criminal court as well as the College Park Title IX process.
Standard of Proof
There are many key differences between College Park criminal investigations for sexual misconduct and Title IX proceedings. The standard of review, which is the standard applied to the burden of proof, is one of those crucial distinctions.
In criminal matters, the prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual committed all the elements of a crime in order for that person to be convicted of the crime. By contrast, in a Title IX proceeding the standard of review is not as strict.
Instead of needing to prove an allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, it is only necessary to show that is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred. This is known as a showing by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Thus, in criminal proceedings vs. College Park campus Title IX proceedings with exactly the same evidence, the accused student may be found guilty in the university proceeding but acquitted in criminal court.
Right to Representation
Defendants in criminal court are entitled to representation by a defense attorney. If they cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender to help protect their rights and present a solid defense against the charges.
This is one situation where criminal proceedings differ substantially vs. College Park Title IX proceedings. Students are permitted to have assistance during the proceedings, and advisors may even be appointed to help. However, accused students in College Park Title IX proceedings may not have an advocate speak on their behalf but must always speak directly for themselves.
Potential Consequences are Different Yet Equally Serious
Protections such as the right to legal counsel, the right to confront an accuser, and the right to avoid self-incrimination are not generally available in Title IX proceedings the way they are in criminal proceedings.
The U.S. Department of Education has determined that schools do not need to provide these protections because students involved in Title IX investigations do not face the risk of incarceration if they are found responsible for wrongdoing.
In criminal proceedings vs. College Park campus Title IX proceedings, the sanctions that can be imposed on accused students differ substantially. Those found guilty after a criminal trial face imprisonment and heavy fines. Sanctions for Title IX violations, by contrast, tend to involve consequences such as community service or removal from campus housing.
However, students also face expulsion or suspension, as well as a notation on their records of the disciplinary action. As with a criminal conviction, the stigma of a Title IX violation on a student’s record can leave negative impacts that last far into the future.
Assistance with Criminal Proceedings and College Park Campus Title IX Proceedings
All students accused of wrongdoing have rights, and if they do not understand how to protect their rights, they may unintentionally forfeit those rights. However, because procedures and even the rights themselves differ in criminal proceedings vs. College Park campus Title IX proceedings, it can be challenging to understand what actions to take and what to avoid.
An attorney with experience assisting in Title IX investigations as well as criminal defense in College Park could provide guidance throughout both types of proceedings. To help protect the future of an accused student, legal assistance is recommended in both criminal and Title IX investigations.