Why Students Need a Title IX Lawyer
Whether you have been accused of sexual assault, harassment or another form of discrimination on campus or are being investigated for stalking or other types of behavior that violates your school’s Code of Conduct, the most important thing is to get advisory representation as soon as possible. A lawyer experienced in campus Title IX cases can help you navigate your school’s investigation and hearing processes and protect your rights during every step of the way.
Title IX Lawyer in Rhode Island can also help you deal with any retaliation that may occur. For example, your accuser may contact you via email or text after you are accused of misconduct and threaten to expose your name. Attempting to communicate with her may be considered retaliation and could lead to further penalties, including suspension or expulsion from school. Your lawyer can advise you not to speak with your accuser and can assist in pursuing a retaliation claim on your behalf.
While the case is being investigated, you should not talk to anyone about it—even friends and family members who know you. Any statements you make, even if they are innocent, can be used against you in a Title IX proceeding or criminal court later on. Your lawyer can act as a communication middleman so that you don’t say anything that will backfire in your defense.
The most common punishment for students found guilty of a Title IX violation is removal from the campus. This means you will not be able to finish the semester and lose credits or classes you have paid for, or you may not be able to go back to school at all. Depending on the severity of your misconduct, you may also lose financial aid. A lawyer can help you understand all of the penalties you could face and how to appeal them if necessary.
A good Title IX attorney can often get your case resolved before you have to leave campus. They will help you gather evidence and find witnesses to testify on your behalf in a hearing. They can also help you choose which documents, emails or texts to submit for review. They can also help you prepare for your interview and write your opening statement for your hearing. A lawyer can also be your advocate in the hearing and argue that there are not grounds to support the allegations made by the complainant.