With such high stakes involved in the Title IX process, a college student who is facing sexual misconduct or other serious allegations should strongly consider hiring an experienced defense attorney.
A complaint can be filed based on activities that occurred on or off campus, such as:
- Sexual misconduct allegations
- Sexual harassment accusations
- Sexual assault allegations
- Dating violence and rape
- Violating a no-contact order
What are the Title IX Hearing Procedures?
Since Ohio schools have some discretion over the direction of their own hearing processes, there isn't a standardized hearing procedure per se, but the current standard of proof in the majority of Title IX hearings is a “preponderance of evidence.” Preponderance means that a determination is made based on one side's evidence being more likely to have happened in comparison to the other, even if by a small margin (51% likely). This is a low standard of legal proof.
The Trump Administration's Department of Education has afforded U.S. higher education institutions the choice of opting to the “clear and convincing” standard, a relatively higher standard than the preponderance of evidence. But most schools have kept rules as is.
It's important to note that some colleges skip the hearing process altogether, and make rather hasty decisions within the investigation and assessment phases. Because of your right to due process, you can appeal this decision and request a full hearing. If a school goes as far as to deny an appeal, you may have a case on your hands. Ultimately, having an attorney by your side throughout is the only way to achieve true justice in such unpredictable and wavering hearing practices.
Why You Should Get an Advisor
You aren't familiar with the process
Experience is a quality that is valued in virtually all types of cases, but it becomes especially useful in school proceedings. Hearings conducted by schools to mitigate these complaints are unique in their own right, especially from the processes regulated in the criminal justice system. In order for an attorney to lend effective advice to students, he or she must be familiar with the school's processes. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped many other student respondents in schools all throughout Ohio achieve a fair process and adequately prepare for the future.
You need an advocate
Although schools give students the option to choose anyone they would like as their advisor, it is in a respondent's best interest to choose an attorney to take on this role. A legal professional has no incentive to turn on you, and they'll be assertive in protecting your rights. School administrators, staff, and coordinators will want to get this case squared away as quickly as possible. In the absence of assertiveness, you'll lose the footing that you'll need to ensure your voice is heard throughout the process.
Been Accused at an Ohio College or University? Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
The only way to make sure you achieve true justice in a hearing is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents especially, the assistance of an attorney-advisor is invaluable in Title IX hearings. For a case evaluation or for more information about his representation, contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686.