The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do
If you or a loved one is facing college disciplinary action, we are sorry you are going through this and thank you for visiting our law firm website.
There is a lot of information here and online about Title IX allegations of sexual assault or harassment. And our legal team encourages you to learn as much as possible if you are facing this unfortunate situation.
However, the single most important thing you should do immediately if you have been accused of sexual assault or sexual harassment at a college or university is hire qualified legal counsel. That may be our firm or another, but no matter what, do not try to handle this matter alone and do not delay in putting the right people in place to vigorously defend you. Here’s why:
- There is an enormous amount at stake for you… and perhaps others. In fact, how a Title IX issue may impact your future cannot be overstated. Depending on the result, it can affect your status at your current school, ability to enroll at a different school, future job opportunities, ability to pay back any student loans, and perhaps most importantly, your reputation.
- There is enormous pressure on higher learning institutions to punish those accused of sexual assault or harassment. The two biggest incentives are access to federal funding and the ability to attract future students. A college that fails to “comply” with Title IX requirements puts their federal assistance in jeopardy. Likewise, nothing hurts enrollment more than media coverage or other data that shows a school is unsafe.
- The protections and rights afforded to students charged with a crime in state or federal court absolutely do not apply in Title IX investigations, hearings, and punishments. These include the presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the right to confront your accuser, the right to review evidence in the case, and more.
- Those who are handling the Title IX disciplinary process – investigators, hearing officers, panel members – are very well versed in the process. You are not, which puts you in a terribly disadvantaged position.
- You will not be able to properly investigate and identify evidence that will prove the allegations against you are false, embellished, or otherwise unjustified. In fact, trying to obtain evidence of your innocence will almost always create more problems than it solves and can lead to additional charges of misconduct and enhanced punishment.
- Title IX disciplinary proceedings move at lightning speed, often resulting in decisions and punishments within 60 days of a filed complaint. This is a challenging timeline for even the most skilled Title IX lawyers, let alone someone facing allegations for the first time.
- An attorney will advise you on what to do and not to do especially when it comes to talking to others about the allegations, conducting an investigation, disclosing information during the hearing, and preserving evidence and rulings for an appeal should it become necessary.
Taking the Next Step in Fighting Title IX Allegations
While the above may seem scary and overwhelming, there are two pieces of good news. First, this situation will pass. The anxiety and stress you and your family feel today will not exist forever. Second, you’ve taken the best first step to positively resolve your situation, which is seeking an experienced Title IX attorney to represent you.
We encourage you to contact our office immediately to speak with one of our college disciplinary attorneys about your situation or that of a loved one. You may also want to visit our page Why Hire Capovilla & Williams for Title IX Defense to learn more about our team. All information you share with our team is completely confidential, even if you decide not to hire our law firm. A short discussion will, however, give you options for best dealing with your situation as well as a list of positive next steps you can take to protect your future. And that discussion with us is free. We can be reached 24/7/365 at 404-496-7674 or via the contact form here.