Title IX prohibits acts of sexual discrimination in the realm of higher education. However, because it is attached to the federal funding that schools in New Mexico receive, people who have been accused of violating its provisions against sexual harassment or assault often find themselves fighting against claims that seem to have foregone conclusions.
Appointing a lawyer as your Title IX advisor can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Your Right to a Title IX Advisor
If you have been accused of violating Title IX in New Mexico, you have a right to an advisor to help guide you through the upcoming hearing process. Appointing an attorney to the role rather than a faculty or family member not only has some key benefits, but is also the most effective manner to properly defend against sexual misconduct allegations:
- Lawyers are familiar with the often confrontational format of investigations and hearings
- Attorneys know how to build and present your best case
- Title IX defense lawyers have an intimate understanding of the process you will go through
New Mexico's Process for Investigating Title IX Cases
The process for investigating and determining Title IX cases is different for each school in New Mexico. However, they all have some basic elements in common:
- They begin with the complaint. Title IX cases start with the alleged victim filing a complaint with the school, claiming that you committed an act of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX.
- No-contact orders can be filed. If the school thinks the case is severe enough, it can issue a no-contact order against you, prohibiting you from dealing with the person who filed the complaint and the alleged victim. Other interim measures can include an "interim suspension", a ban from living on campus, and related actions taken by the school against the respondent to protect the "interests" of the complainant and the campus community.
- Investigations ensue. A key component of every Title IX case in New Mexico is the investigation, which is either carried out by your school's Title IX officer or an independent investigator. This often culminates in a crucially important interview with you. At many colleges and universities, the decision whether a respondent is in violation of Title IX or not will be determined at the end of the investigation.
- A panel hears the case. Some schools will decide responsibility through a "hearing" process after the completion of the investigation into the claims of sexual misconduct. While each school handles a hearing differently, the evidence that came out of the investigation will be presented to a body of judges who will decide whether you violated Title IX, or not.
- Sanctions are issued if a violation is found. If the outcome of the hearing is that you violated Title IX, sanctions will be issued against you. These can range from a warning to outright expulsion from school.
- You have the right to appeal. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can often appeal it if there was a defect in the process. You can also challenge the nature or severity of the sanctions that you received.
New Mexico Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
Throughout this process, it can be immensely helpful to have an attorney acting as your Title IX advisor. Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense lawyer who represents and advises people who have been accused of violating Title IX. If facing a Title IX investigation or charges in New Mexico, contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 for the help you need to overcome these baseless accusations of sexual misconduct that can severely hamper the beginning of your post-college professional life and career.
New Mexico 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:
- Brown Mackie College Albuquerque
- Central New Mexico Community College
- Clovis Community College
- Computer Career Center
- Eastern New Mexico University Main Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Roswell Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Ruidoso Campus
- Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture
- ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque
- Luna Community College
- Mesalands Community College
- National American University Albuquerque
- National American University Rio Rancho
- Navajo Technical College
- New Mexico Highlands University
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- New Mexico Junior College
- New Mexico Military Institute
- New Mexico State University Alamogordo
- New Mexico State University Carlsbad
- New Mexico State University Dona Ana
- New Mexico State University Grants
- New Mexico State University Main Campus
- Northern New Mexico College
- San Juan College
- Santa Fe Community College
- Santa Fe University of Art and Design
- Southwest University of Visual Arts Albuquerque
- St John's College
- University of New Mexico Gallup Campus
- University of New Mexico Los Alamos Campus
- University of New Mexico Main Campus
- University of New Mexico Taos Campus
- University of New Mexico Valencia County Campus
- University of Phoenix Albuquerque Campus
- University of the Southwest
- Western New Mexico University
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 New Mexico and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.