If you have been accused of sexual misconduct on a Hawaii campus, then Title IX will be a factor in your case. Title IX is a federal statute that guarantees equal access to higher education for people of different genders and sexual orientations and threatens to strip colleges of their federal funding if they do not adequately investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
If you have been accused of sexual harassment or assault at a Hawaii college, then, you can expect your school to prosecute the claim vigorously. Having a lawyer as your Title IX advisor can be essential if you want to protect your rights.
Three Reasons to Appoint a Lawyer as Your Advisor
You have a right to an advisor if you have been accused of violating Title IX. While your first instinct might be to ask a faculty member or someone close, this is a seriously misguided approach. There are many reasons to turn to a lawyer, instead. For example:
- Lawyers build and present cases for a living
- Part of being an attorney is dealing with adversarial proceedings like investigations and hearings
- Title IX defense lawyers understand the investigation process and how it can infringe on your rights much better than faculty members do
Title IX Investigation Process in Hawaii
Even though each school has its own process for investigating a Title IX allegation, they all follow the same basic framework:
- The complaint. Only when someone else files a complaint with the school, claiming that you committed an act of sexual misconduct, does the Title IX process begin.
- No-contact orders. The college's most common response to receiving a Title IX complaint is to file no-contact orders against you, prohibiting you from having any contact with the person who filed the complaint. The power of this order is significant: It can force a housing or classroom reassignment, if necessary.
- Investigation. The university will then hire an independent investigator or assign its Title IX officer to investigate the complaint and verify its allegations. This often leads to an interview with you, which can make a huge difference in the case.
- Hearing. The evidence gathered will then be presented to a hearing panel. The process for the hearing and the makeup of this panel vary with each school, but having a lawyer on hand for this stage of the process can be critical.
- Sanctions. If the hearing ends with a finding that you violated Title IX, the panel can sanction you with penalties ranging from expulsion from school all the way down to a mere warning.
- Appeals. You have a right to appeal the severity of the penalty that you received, or the outcome of the hearing if there was a procedure that was not correctly followed and that likely impacted the result.
A Title IX Advisor in Hawaii: Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense lawyer who fights on behalf of those accused with a Title IX violation. His presence as your Title IX investigation advisor can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686.
Hawaii colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations (in addition to hearings and appeals) include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Argosy University Hawaii
- Brigham Young University Hawaii
- Chaminade University of Honolulu
- Hawaii Community College
- Hawaii Pacific University
- Heald College Honolulu
- Honolulu Community College
- Kapiolani Community College
- Kauai Community College
- Leeward Community College
- New Hope Christian College
- Remington College Honolulu Campus
- University of Hawaii at Hilo
- University of Hawaii at Manoa
- University of Hawaii Maui College
- University of Hawaii West Oahu
- University of Phoenix Hawaii Campus
- Windward Community College
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your college or university is handled properly and that the accused student's or employee's interests are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. One major reason is because even at schools where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused is found responsible or not responsible for Title IX charges.
Unfortunately, some students, families, and college employees make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct and Title IX charges would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation for a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused's academic and professional future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Hawaii and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.