Students facing allegations of sexual assault are granted an advisor to assist them through the higher education institution's grievance processes, the investigation, and the hearing. Although they are given the option to choose any person they would like, choosing a lawyer is recommended to receive the best results. Below is a list of the benefits that a legal professional can offer you when they are hired to occupy the role of an advisor:
Extensive Knowledge of Title IX Processes / State and Federal Laws
It is the duty of an attorney to obtain an extensive knowledge of the Title IX processes that ensue at a respondent's school, as well as the state and federal laws and regulations that dictate this process. Title IX legislation was enacted to ensure that a school investigates claims of sexual assault, while federal and state law promises that both the accused and an accuser are entitled to a number of protections while undergoing these processes. In fact, the more serious the offense, the more protections a student should be granted. Unfortunately, primary rights are sometimes stripped from the accused in the midst of these processes, and a hearing may ultimately cater to the accused and vex the accused. With an experienced attorney as your advisor, the chance of receiving a fairer hearing and the overall process is maximized.
A More Thorough Investigation
Hiring an attorney as an advisor may prove to be extremely beneficial in regard to the investigation process. The majority of college students likely have little to no experience when it comes to investigating a case. However, a lawyer with trial experience has likely been through investigation processes numerous times. Experienced legal professionals have advocated in enough cases to gauge specific evidence and witnesses that will be crucial when presented in a hearing. Their job would consist of helping you obtain the evidence you need to present a case that will comprehensively reflect the accused's account of the perceived sexual assault.
Keeping Colleges and Universities Accountable
When a legal professional is chosen as an advisor for a respondent, they will ensure that a college and university is following its own rules and regulations in the midst of processes. In prior sexual assault and harassment cases, schools have been caught doing questionable things such as destroying evidence, in order to compromise the accused's right to a fair hearing. In an effort to deter a college or university from disobeying its own rules, attorneys who stand in as advisors typically send a “litigation hold” letter asserting their role in this case and that the school could possibly be sued if it refuses to preserve evidence and abide by other regulations. After a school has been warned, its decision to continue to be unfair could ultimately end up in a lawsuit. The presence of an attorney indirectly sends a message to higher education institutions that a respondent is prepared to vehemently fight for their entitled rights.
Experienced Defense Attorney
If you are a student who has been accused of sexual assault, you should consult with a lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for and protecting your rights. With the help of a skilled legal professional, your chances of a favorable outcome are exponentially increased. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.