Are you worried about an upcoming sexual misconduct case at the University of South Florida that you have to manage?
Whether the allegations were a surprise or you expected them, you're likely frustrated, stressed, and maybe even scared. After all, there's a lot that you have to learn in order to get through this successfully.
If the University of South Florida determines that you're responsible and leaves a disciplinary note on your transcript or records, your future's going to be a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Prospective employers and any higher academic institutions you apply to will learn about these allegations and decide not to hire or admit you.
That's a problem. At the Lento Law Firm, we don't think that's fair—so we're here to help you learn everything you need to know to work towards a favorable outcome.
Title IX Cases in Florida - How Universities Respond
A part of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Title IX is a federal rights law that governs the way United States schools respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.
This is a very contentious issue—so much so that every few years, the United States government tends to issue updated guidance or interpretations regarding the way that schools need to follow or implement these rules.
In order to keep their students safe and their regulations up-to-date amid sometimes-confusing direction, many American universities have either dual sexual misconduct policies or, sometimes, very general and overarching ones. This can lead to universities running investigative and adjudicative matters in ways that don't always protect student rights. That means that you need to stand up and make sure that the University of South Florida does not treat you poorly throughout your upcoming sexual misconduct case.
What are the University of South Florida - Main Campus's Sexual Misconduct Policies?
The University of South Florida's Center for Violence Prevention notes that interpersonal violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and stalking are all behaviors that the university will investigate and punish. The school's guidelines closely mirror FL Statute 794, in that any sexual act that occurs without the consent of all involved will be punishable. Individuals who are mentally incapacitated are considered unable to provide necessary consent, and these actions are punishable whether or not the involved parties knew each other prior to the event.
The university's sexual misconduct policy additionally defines sexual exploitation, threats of violence, and both dating and domestic violence as punishable actions.
Once the university becomes aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct, that information will make its way to the school's Title IX coordinator. The coordinator will assess the allegation and decide whether to simply provide non-punitive supportive measures or to file a formal complaint against the alleged guilty party. If the university pursues formal punitive measures, the Title IX Coordinator will send out notices to all parties involved that they will be the subjects of an investigation. This notice will include an invitation to a formal hearing and, potentially, the offer of a university advisor.
While this might seem like a generous move, it's one to decline. You need targeted, specific experience in student defense to obtain the results you want. Your school's advisor will not be practiced in this area or sufficiently dedicated to your cause.
At the hearing, you will have a chance to review the evidence against you and give a statement. At the end of the hearing, the university will make a decision about your guilt and issue a recommendation for your punishment. The school's policy notes simply that “Sanctions can range from additional educational requirements to permanent separation from the University (expulsion/termination).” This is not a range of punishments that you want to leave up to chance.
Can I File an Appeal against Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Decisions at the University of South Florida - Main Campus?
Yes. If the University of South Florida has issued you disciplinary measures that you don't believe you deserve, or if you have observed any procedural anomalies during your investigative or adjudicative measures, you can file an appeal. However, filing an appeal is a high-stakes situation. At the University of South Florida - Main Campus, you'll only have one chance to file an appeal. After that, your school's disciplinary recommendations will be permanent. Since this is the case, it's a good idea to wait to file an appeal, of course bearing in mind the appeal deadline, until you have new evidence to support your innocence or you're working with a professional attorney-advisor.
Joseph D. Lento Can Help You with Your Upcoming USF - Main Campus Sexual Misconduct Case
Whether the sexual misconduct allegations against you are true or false, one thing's clear: You need to deal with them, and you need to deal with them now. Regardless of their veracity, they can end up impacting your future for years to come.
Is that fair? No. However, schools nationwide are currently cracking down on allegations of sexual misconduct. There isn't much incentive to spend a lot of time and effort preserving the rights of the accused. In that type of environment, it's up to you to make sure that you protect your future with everything you've got.
It's also up to you to secure the support that you need. You don't need to go through this alone—in fact, you shouldn't. With a seasoned, skilled, and savvy legal advisor by your side, your university will take you more seriously—and you'll have a much higher chance of attaining a successful outcome.
At the Lento Law Firm, that's exactly what we do. Joseph D. Lento has spent years assisting students in your shoes. He's prepared aggressive defenses against sexual misconduct charges and fought for the innocence of students nationwide. He can do the same for you.
Don't delay in getting the help you need. Call Joseph D. Lento in to help you protect your future. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or use our online form to reach out today.