Has Miami Dade College notified you of a sexual misconduct allegation—against you?
Whether this was a complete surprise or you were afraid that it might be coming, this type of allegation is never welcome. What comes next—investigations, tough decisions, and harsh discipline or consequences—will be similarly unpleasant. If you're the subject of a sexual misconduct or Title IX investigation, your life may get a little complicated for a while.
It's your job right now to make sure that those complications don't last for your entire life. The permanent reputation-altering ramifications of a sexual misconduct allegation can change your life, no matter the nature of the original accusation. If you don't take care, your disciplinary processes could close a lot of doors for you in your future.
Now is the time to learn more about Title IX, college sexual misconduct policies, and the consequences that could await you.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in any school that receives federal funding. Any such school must uphold Title IX's policies when adjudicating certain types of sexual misconduct or risk losing their funding.
Title IX undergoes updates and slight changes on a semi-regular basis, which may affect the specific processes that your school must follow or the types of sexual misconduct which fall under its purview. Since this is the case, many schools have opted to implement dual adjudication processes to work towards a safe campus in the best way they see fit.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policies at Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College makes it very clear that it prohibits any sexual offenses, including assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking. The school makes this clear in a sexual misconduct policy that also covers Title IX investigative procedures. The school also offers up a concise definition for each to avoid any possible confusion:
- Sexual Assault refers to any contact, behavior, or act that is sexual in nature AND directed against another party without their explicit consent.
- Domestic Violence refers to any violent act that a current or former partner, spouse, or parent of your child commits against you.
- Dating Violence is similar to domestic violence, but represents the language used when the alleged offender is in an intimate or romantic relationship with the victim.
- Stalking occurs when an alleged offender engages in a pattern of recurring behavior that causes someone else to fear for their safety or undergo emotional distress.
These are clearly general definitions, and miscommunications or misunderstandings happen all the time—which can lead to allegations and investigations of sexual misconduct. If you've found yourself in this situation, it's time to make sure that the accusations against you do not have an undue impact on your future.
Due Process and Disciplinary Adjudication at Your School
Miami Dade College has its investigative, adjudicative, and disciplinary processes outlined neatly on its website. After anyone makes an allegation to the school about the actions of another person, the following activities will occur:
- The College will launch an investigation to figure out what happened in your situation. They will do so with the intent of taking immediate action to eliminate any danger that a Miami Dade College student may be in, as well as establishing best practices to prevent any recurrences from happening.
- The College will investigate any complaints made, even if you do not request that the school take any action. This is the case because, under Title IX, if the College is aware of any possibility of sexual harassment or violence, the College must investigate and take steps to resolve the situation.
- The College will ask all involved parties to present evidence or recommend witnesses.
- The College will notify all parties involved about the time frames in which an investigation is happening, as well as an estimate of the date of an outcome or decision.
- The College will notify all involved parties of its decision in writing.
- The College will recommend disciplinary proceedings that fit the allegations. This may include an order that the alleged offender stays away from the victim, that the alleged offender stays away from a period of time (including indefinitely), or that the alleged offender receives an updated schedule of classes or residence hall assignment.
Whether this series of events seems overwhelming to you or like it's not much to worry about, it's important to realize what's truly at stake in your sexual misconduct case. Miami Dade College takes the health and safety of its students very seriously. If you receive disciplinary action for a sexual misconduct allegation, the College could place a note in your permanent file that you have an association with sexual misconduct—regardless of the actual events that took place.
This association will damage your reputation. It will make it more difficult for you to get scholarships, internships, or even your dream job later down the line. In order to make sure none of that happens, you need to deal with this now.
Trust Joseph D. Lento to Help You Navigate Your Title IX Case at Miami Dade
It's easy to feel like you're alone when you're figuring out how to respond to sexual misconduct accusations. Your friends might be picking sides. You might feel like you can't trust faculty—even trusted mentors. In addition to the natural stressors of being a college student, now, you have to figure out how to survive an intense sexual misconduct investigation.
If you're looking for experience and expertise in student defense, you're in the right place. Joseph D. Lento has worked tirelessly to provide top-tier defenses, assistance, and more to students across the nation. He'll work with you through your school's adjudicative processes to help you pursue a favorable outcome.
From assistance with key documents, investigation deadlines, preparations for hearings, or help with an appeal, Joseph D. Lento will be here to work hard for you. For more information about how we can help you, reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.