Sexual misconduct triggers, harms, frustrates, and confuses everyone involved. This is true for any victims of sexual misconduct, but it's also applicable to those alleged guilty. If you're under suspicion of sexual misconduct at Northern Arizona University, you're going through a lot. You're struggling to manage your course load and figure out how to defend yourself. You're worried about how these allegations will impact your future and your current experience at your university.
At the Lento Law Firm, we're here for you. We have years of experience making sure that a misunderstanding or instance of miscommunication does not wreak havoc on your entire future.
Here's what you need to know.
Title IX and Northern Arizona University: Policies and Punishments
Title IX is a federal rights law established in 1972 that guides United States academic institutions as they investigate and adjudicate matters of sexual harassment and misconduct. As these types of events tend to represent hot-button issues, Title IX receives updated interpretations or guidances on a relatively routine basis.
United States schools can find it daunting to keep their policies updated, given the frequently shifting directions from changing administrations. To cover their bases and keep students safe across the nation, many schools establish dual sexual misconduct policies; one that keeps up with current Title IX guidance, and another that is slightly more general.
As a student undergoing a Title IX or sexual misconduct investigation at Northern Arizona University, your experience will likely be similar regardless of the specific policy guiding your case. At Northern Arizona University, all matters of sexual misconduct are encompassed in one large sexual misconduct policy.
According to this policy, your university considers the following actions punishable:
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual violence
- Non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse
- Sexual exploitation
- Creating a hostile environment
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
This is not an exhaustive list of punishable behaviors. Northern Arizona University notes even unwelcome actions that may seem innocuous could constitute sexual misconduct.
Once the university becomes aware that an incidence of sexual misconduct may have taken place, the university will launch its sexual misconduct due process.
Northern Arizona University's grievance procedures include:
- A notice to all involved parties that includes details regarding the allegation as well as the immediate next steps (e.g., a recommendation to find an advisor, and information about the university's investigation)
- An investigation into what may have occurred regarding the actual incident
- A formal hearing before a committee of university officials, at which all parties involved will review the collected evidence and have a chance to tell their side of the story
- A determination of guilt based upon the evidence presented
- A recommendation for further disciplinary action, based upon the university's determination of guilt
- A written notice from the university confirming both the decision and the recommended disciplinary action
At this point, Northern Arizona University will consider the issue closed. You will then need to carry out or experience your punitive measures, which can range from mandatory counseling to expulsion. In matters of sexual misconduct, schools generally do opt to expel allegedly guilty students.
What's Really at Stake with My Sexual Misconduct Case?
Expulsion is clearly a severe outcome. Even a suspension or a probationary time would not be easy to experience, and would necessarily hamper both your current educational experience and your plans for the immediate and even long-term future.
The most serious consequence might not even be something you've considered. Regardless of the specific punishment you accrue, Northern Arizona University will likely make a note of it on your permanent transcript. This can be deadly for your chances of future success. Every time that you apply to future academic programs or even dream jobs, your future school or employer will request your transcripts and see this information. This will make it far less likely that they will offer you employment or opportunities.
You need to make sure that your allegations of sexual misconduct don't go before you for the rest of your life, closing doors that would otherwise have been open.
You need to work with a professional misconduct attorney now to make sure that this doesn't happen.
Can I Appeal Northern Arizona University's Disciplinary Decision?
If you do not agree with the Northern Arizona University's disciplinary recommendation in your case, you do have the right to file an appeal. However, it's generally only recommended that you can do so if you can clearly demonstrate a serious procedural anomaly or if you have more information that was not available during the course of the original investigation. You only have one chance to appeal, and you only have a brief window in which to do so—so it's vital that you work with a practiced professional before deciding to follow this course of action.
Need Help with Title IX or Sexual Misconduct Defense at Northern Arizona University? Call the Lento Law Firm
If you've received a notice from Northern Arizona University that the school will be investigating you for sexual misconduct, you might be very worried right now.
That's a good sign: It means you're taking this seriously. The repercussions of your situation could well be severe, and you need to take action.
However, you also need to realize that you're not alone - and that you can work through this. With the Lento Law Firm at your side, you can work towards a successful outcome. You just need the professional, empathetic, and efficient experience of Joseph D. Lento, a student defense attorney who has been helping students for years.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you navigate your school's confusing code of conduct and complex disciplinary procedures. He can help you manage your reputation, prepare to defend yourself, and more during this frustrating time. Whether you need help managing Northern Arizona University's investigative or adjudicative procedures, give Joseph D. Lento a call.
Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or use our online form to reach out today.