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Accused of a Title IX violation? The process explained by a defense attorney for students.

What is a Title IX violation?

Title IX violations are wide ranging. Most students I assist face allegations of harassment, stalking, or non-consensual sexual behavior.

What happens when a student is accused of a Title IX violation?

The first step is an investigation. At this point, the Title IX coordinator at your university will notify the parties involved, both the complainant (who is making the allegation) and respondent (person who the allegation is against) that an allegation is being investigated.

Can I defend myself during the investigation phase of a Title IX allegation?

Yes. You must start building your case from the initial notice of investigation. Part of the investigative process is information gathering. This means that any information that confirms or denies the allegation should be brought forth.

What type of evidence should I give the Title IX investigator?

The type of evidence you should give depends on the specific allegations. Generally speaking, the investigator will take everything into account. This means social media posts, text messages, emails, phone logs, and videos. Interviews and written statements will also be reviewed. This is such an important phase that a student should seek the guidance of an experienced Title IX defense attorney.

Do I get a chance to argue any evidence the investigator gathers during the Title IX investigation?

Yes. After the investigation is completed, both the complainant and respondent will have an opportunity to review and respond to the evidence gathered. The response is critical to the conclusion the investigator will make. If the investigator believes that there is a “preponderance of evidence,” or that it was more likely than not the allegation is true, you will face a disciplinary committee hearing for the final determination of innocence or guilt. If found guilty, the committee will decide what sanctions are appropriate.

What happens at a Title IX hearing?

You will face a committee composed of several individuals. Typically, other students, staff, and faculty will be present. The evidence that was gathered during the investigation will be presented and you will again have to argue your innocence. After the hearing is completed, if found guilty, a sanction will be given.

What could happen if you are found guilty of a Title IX violation?

You can face a long term suspension or be expelled from the university. 

Can I appeal a Title IX hearing finding of guilty?

Typically, yes. Most universities follow procedures that allow an appeal based on certain categories. Look in your student handbook for the criteria to appeal a Title IX violation.

Can you help me defend a Title IX allegation?

Yes. I help students all over the country defend against accusations of Title IX violations. Using nearly two decades of legal experience combined with a specialized knowledge of the student disciplinary process, I help students gain successful outcomes.

Richard Asselta is an award-winning attorney who defends students facing Title IX allegations throughout the United States.

Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.

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