If you have been charged with campus sexual assault through a Title IX complaint, you retain a nationwide Title IX defense lawyer right away. The earlier you engage legal counsel the earlier you can start preparing yourself for a panel hearing. Usually, a Title IX hearing is pushed through quickly by the school, giving you little time to prepare. A skilled attorney can quickly evaluate your case and prepare accordingly.
Your attorney will examine the Title IX policies of your school through the handbook or code of conduct. Schools often vary in their standards. A Title IX handbook or code can include elements like how consent in sexual activity is defined. Also, your lawyer will determine whether the code extends to activities that do not occur on campus.
Consent Under Title IX
In schools that define consent, it usually involves affirmative consent, which requires both parties to affirm their consent to sexual activity they both agree on. This could mean that consent should be understandable to both parties, freely provided, and has a limit. Additionally, consent can’t be ongoing indefinitely. Thus, a party can withdraw it at any time. Remember that even if a party does not refuse, a drunk or passed-out person can’t provide consent to sexual activity.
How the Title IX Investigation Process Works
If you are facing a Title IX investigation, you are entitled to some rights. Your lawyer will defend the complaint filed against you and walk with you through the process. This process includes the following:
- Filing of a complaint. A Title IX investigation starts when someone files a Title IX complaint against you. As the investigation officially begins, all parties involved will be given notice. Your attorney can help you understand the kinds of evidence to collect and the witnesses to interview to build your case.
- Collecting evidence. Your college or university has a legal obligation to present all evidence gathered during the investigation, so you can review it. Your attorney can help you analyze and examine the evidence, so you can give an appropriate response to the allegations. Your lawyer can use private investigators to gather additional evidence that they can use to try to clear your name.
- Hearing. A hearing may be necessary for some Title IX complaints. If your school allows a lawyer to be present at your hearing, you can have a good chance at cross-examining the complainant and their witnesses. Because of your lawyer’s experience in court trials, they can effectively help you seek the justice you deserve.