There are many different types of offenses that can fall under the umbrella term of “sexual misconduct.” From rape to sexual harassment, if you are accused of any type of sexual misconduct while at a college or university that accepts federal funding then you could be facing not just criminal charges but a Title IX school investigation as well.
A criminal conviction can come with prison time and large fines, but even if you are not convicted by the State – even if you are not charged – you can still face suspension or even expulsion from your school. The good news is that you have rights as granted in the United States Constitution and when you work with Law Office of Michael L. Fell throughout the school hearing process, you can count on us ensuring your rights are protected.
You Do Have Due Process if You Attend a Public School
While every school that receives federal funding is required to investigate any sexual misconduct complaint, it is also true that the accused and the accuser are given the same rights in these cases. If you have been accused of sexual misconduct at your school or university, you have the right to due process, which means you get notice of the allegations against and you have the opportunity to respond to those allegations.
You have the right to access the written disciplinary policies and procedures of your school, the right to have qualified officials from your school conduct the proceedings, and the right to provide evidence and question witnesses. Further, you have the right to have an advisor with you at every stage of the process. For this, we recommend a criminal defense attorney familiar with school proceedings.
You have the right to be free from retaliation for exercising these rights and you have the right to access your campus counseling services. Finally, you have the right to have the entire disciplinary process remain confidential.
The Rules Are Different at Private Schools
A student at a private university or private college does not have the same rights. However, almost all private schools follow this same model. You will generally have notice of the allegations and the right to respond to them. You will typically also have the right to have an attorney with you.
Do Not Take on These Accusations on Your Own
The consequences of Title IX investigations can be devastating. Though each student has rights, this does not mean that administrations never falsely punish a student. This is partially due to the fact that the standard of evidence is lower in this type of case than it is in a criminal case, and because many students do not have a qualified attorney on their side during the process. Don’t be one of those students: Call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for your free legal consultation.