Students accused of sexual misconduct on college and university campuses are afforded certain rights under Title IX. With so much at stake for respondents, it is important that these rights are protected and upheld. Crucial rights that will be protected with the help of a student defense attorney are:
The right to be treated with respect by college/university officials
The inherent assumption of guilt that clings to students accused of sexual misconduct elicits damaging premature effects. For those educated in their approach to interacting with parties involved in sensitive matters, the act of victim blaming, or casting guilt onto a survivor for the events that occurred, is objectionable. Still, the line between refraining from victim blaming while also forgoing the crucifixion of a respondent remains murky for most people.
The disconcerting reality for respondents is that they will be presumed guilty in the minds of spectators for mere accusations. This presumption justifies gratuitous behavior steered towards you in the eyes of counterparts, society, and most importantly, school authorities. For students who maintain a genuine belief that they've been falsely accused, this attitude sported by powerful figures at your school is ruinous, and will more than likely influence how your school handles your case in some capacity.
For this reason alone, Title IX has granted you the right of being treated with respect by officials in an institution. Any unfair or disrespectful actions expressed towards you by the school is a direct violation under federal law and will be met with corrective action if proven.
The right to be well informed of your charges
One of the proximate consequences of unfair treatment is the lack of information provided in relation to charges. Respondents have reported that there's a lack of details in the limited information they're given. In order for a student to properly prepare for a hearing, he or she must be aware of the opposing evidence. Without this information, a respondent is incapable of adequately defending themselves, and a hearing automatically becomes unfair and partial.
The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the conduct body
A finding of guilt is not the end of the road for student respondents. Exhausted from school processes, some students succumb to the pressure of accepting their fate and defeatedly make preparations for the repercussions they fought so hard to evade. However, it's important to remember that a guilty determination is not a final determination. In cases when a student and their representation believe that a decision made by a school was unfair or unjustified, they can submit a request for an appeal to the school.
An appeal is a procedure that permits a school to review and reassess a decision it previously made. If the appeal grounds provided are deemed reasonable by a school, the entire decision and/or sanction will be reversed or modified in accordance. Appeal deadlines come up fast, as schools generally give students a relatively short amount of time to file. Meeting this deadline is crucial since extensions are rarely administered in these circumstances.
Student Defense Attorney - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nationwide
Expecting your school to wholly abide by the parameters imposed by federal law is naive. If you are a student who has been accused of sexual misconduct, it is imperative you speak to an attorney who is dedicated to protecting the rights entitled to you under Title IX. Contact Joseph D. Lento today for assistance.