1. Speak to an attorney before talking to anyone else
I can't stress this enough. Upon notice of your allegations, it is critical that you seek experienced counsel to protect your rights and reputation. Sexual misconduct in any of its forms can result in serious, life-altering penalties. Although you may feel like it may look good to stay in contact with school administrators and staff, the first person you should talk to is an attorney. A legal professional has no incentive to use what you tell them against you. They are there to protect your rights.
2. Share your story with a person you can trust
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct and believe that you are innocent, these allegations have likely stressed you out beyond comprehension. This incident has consumed your life, and it may be hard to process the gravity of your situation. In circumstances like these, the mental health of respondents declines quickly. Do yourself a favor, and don't suffer in silence. Confide in someone that you know you can trust - whether it be your partner, your parents, or a good friend. A healthy state of mind is needed to get through this process.
3. Don't quit school or your job
When it comes to allegations with serious stigmas, it's best to not to do anything that would lead people to believe that you're guilty. And with the nature of these allegations, you won't have to do much to incriminate yourself. Impulsively quitting your job or dropping out of school after news of allegations is a red flag to any reasonable person, and will cause people to believe that you're running from the situation. This is why it's important that you don't make any sudden decisions, especially important ones involving your education and livelihood. Plus, if it turns out that the school finds you innocent, you won't have to reapply for school or explain to your next employer why you quit your job.
4. Stay off of social media
Almost everybody has a social media account in this day and age. If you're in college, it's highly likely that you actively use several social media platforms to interact with your friends and family. But with the many advantages of social media comes downsides. There are very serious risks about being on social media if you've been accused of sexual misconduct or any wrongdoing. Any status updates about your case can be used against you in a disciplinary proceeding and even in a court of law. A post, picture, or video that seems harmless to you, may be used as supporting evidence in a case. With this in mind, be sure to suspend all your social media accounts until after your school case and/or criminal case is closed.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.