What to Do if You Receive a Title IX Complaint – Tips from a Title IX Defense Lawyer
Title IX By Binnall Law Group - 2021/11/26 at 10:21am
Whether it comes expected or entirely by surprise, receiving a Title IX complaint can be a terrifying experience. Your entire future is at stake. What you say and do next could impact your reputation, education, and career far into the future.
While you may not know what to do, however, there’s a good chance that a knowledgeable Title IX defense lawyer can help. A legal advocate who understands what you are facing can guide you through the process while protecting your rights and helping avoid costly mistakes that work against you.
Watch What You Say
After someone files a Title IX complaint for sexual misconduct or some other alleged Title IX violation, an investigator will start conducting interviews and gathering other evidence. It is a good idea for those accused to watch what they say and do while the investigation is pending. Even innocent statements can be taken out of context and used against the accused.
As a practical matter, although the investigation is supposed to find out the truth, often an investigation proceeds with the goal of looking for evidence to support an allegation, leaving the defense to fend for itself. A Title IX defense lawyer can guide a student so that they can avoid self-incrimination during questioning.
If possible, an accused student should get legal advice before making a statement or answering questions connected with the incident.
A Title IX Defense Lawyer Will Help Gather and Prepare Evidence
A Title IX complaint starts with accusations and evidence pointing to the guilt of the accused student. To succeed in defending against allegations, that student must collect and present their own evidence to refute the charges. One good way to start is to compile records of any communications with the student bringing the accusation and to locate witnesses. A seasoned student defense lawyer could help interview witnesses and analyze communications to develop a defense strategy. Knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask can often be the key to a successful defense.
Present Your Best Defense at the Start
Because campus disciplinary proceedings may seem informal, many students do not realize the serious nature of the proceedings and what is at stake. They may be embarrassed about the incident or afraid to ask for help. Then they are surprised at the negative outcome and scramble to appeal. That approach makes it difficult to succeed.
Instead, it is better to approach a Title IX complaint as if it were a complaint filed in criminal court and take appropriate defensive measures. Instead of allowing evidence of wrongdoing to be presented without refuting it, it is wise to present evidence showing an opposing viewpoint or mitigating factors. If it becomes necessary to appeal, that evidence could be substantially more persuasive if it was presented originally rather than seemingly dredged up for the sake of appearance later.
Seek Advice from a Title IX Defense Lawyer
If you have received a Title IX complaint, remember that you do not have to face the ordeal alone. Support from an experienced Title IX defense lawyer can protect your rights and make it easier to get through the process step by step, giving you the best chance of a positive outcome. For a confidential consultation with a dedicated student defense attorney at Binnall Law Group, contact us today.