Montgomery County Title IX Lawyer
Sex crimes and sexual misconduct are increasingly common incidences on college campuses. In response, Title IX, a federal law, requires all college campuses that receive federal funding to take various steps to investigate and sanction students who engage in sexual misconduct.
Allegations of sexual crimes or prohibited sexual activities on campus can necessitate the involvement of a Montgomery County Title IX lawyer.
In some cases, allegations of sexual misconduct can lead to criminal prosecution, which can have separate severe consequences. However, even if no criminal charges result, a finding of sexual misconduct can cause you to lose out on valuable opportunities, including the chance to continue your college education and pursue some careers.
A Title IX defense lawyer may be essential to your ability to avoid some of the potentially harmful outcomes that may result from claims of sexual misconduct on campus.
Defining Title IX Violations in Montgomery County
As a result of their receipt of federal funding, most college and university campuses are subject to Title IX, which is part of the 1972 Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act. Title IX prohibits any sex discrimination on campus.
Although this is an ever-changing area of the law, the federal government in recent years has issued guidance making it clear that college campuses have specific duties and responsibilities to handle allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and violence on campus under Title IX.
Title IX requires college and university campuses to appoint a Title IX coordinator to handle all allegations of sexual misconduct on campus or involving students and employees at the school. These coordinators must follow strict timelines in investigating and adjudicating accusations of wrongdoing that violate the applicable student conduct codes.
These policies and procedures are likely to be confusing, unfamiliar, and overwhelming for students accused of misconduct, which may necessitate the involvement of a Title IX lawyer in Montgomery County.
Title IX Student Disciplinary Proceedings
When students receive notice of student disciplinary proceedings against them, they often assume that the procedures will be similar to those that occur in a criminal courtroom, particularly if the allegations relate to sexual misconduct. However, there are substantial distinctions between the two types of proceedings. The most striking difference may be in the rights that students accused of wrongdoing are entitled to in student disciplinary proceedings, as opposed to those in criminal proceedings.
For instance, in criminal proceedings, individuals accused of crimes are entitled to legal representation and enjoy a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. This is a high standard, meaning that the state must provide sufficient evidence that leads to no other conclusion than that the persons committed the crime.
In contrast, the typical standard of proof in student disciplinary proceedings is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard, and there is no right to have representation by legal counsel. This is a much lower standard that requires only a showing that it is “more likely than not” or more than 50% certainty that the individuals engaged in the misconduct.
As a Title IX attorney in Montgomery County may advise, this makes it much more likely that school officials will find that accused students committed misconduct, which may subject them to discipline, including suspension or expulsion from school.
Let a Montgomery County Title IX Attorney Assist You
Due to the potentially disastrous ramifications of Title IX disciplinary proceedings on college and university campuses, you may wish to get legal advice immediately. These cases are subject to strict timeframes that can move very quickly through an investigation to informal meetings and other proceedings.
Having a Montgomery County Title IX lawyer on your side may be vital to overcoming the allegations against you and salvaging your educational and professional future.
Allegations of sexual misconduct also can lead to a criminal investigation and potential criminal charges against you, depending on the circumstances. Trying to handle student conduct proceedings on your own could result in you inadvertently incriminating yourself or making you more vulnerable to criminal charges. For these reasons, getting legal advice right away can be essential to building a strong defense to any student discipline and criminal penalties that you may be facing.