Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, federally funded education programs and activities are prohibited from discriminating based on sex. Universities such as ASU, Mesa Community College, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, and University of Arizona are required under Title IX to investigate all allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Unfortunately, each universities’ different interpretations of Title IX can often lead to unfair or unfounded accusations against innocent parties.
If you are facing sexual misconduct accusations at a college or university, you are not alone. A Phoenix Title IX lawyer can help defend your rights through every step of the investigation and trial process. A skilled attorney can also work to protect your future education and employment opportunities. Call today to discuss your case with a dedicated legal professional at Grand Canyon Law Group.
Universities must investigate sexual assault and harassment accusations, even if the accusing party does not go to the police. If schools fail to investigate claims or mishandle an investigation, they can be sued for negligence by the accuser. A school’s failure to carry out Title IX procedures can also result in a loss of their federal funding, which is often critical for educational institutions to operate.
An accused party cannot rely on the school or university to have their best interests at heart. It is crucial to work with an experienced defense attorney who can ensure the defendant’s side of the story is well-presented during Title IX proceedings.
There are fundamental rights afforded to parties accused of sexual misconduct on any campus receiving federal funds under Title IX. The Office for Civil Rights, which is a part of the United States Department of Education, has recognized that these fundamental due process rights include the right to be informed about the Title IX process. These include the institution’s regulations and processes, as well as the nature of the violation and associated punishment. Additionally, the accused must be given written notice of the outcome of the investigation and any associated disciplinary actions.
An accused party also has the right not to have any prior sexual history admitted as evidence during a university’s Title IX investigation. This protection exists to reduce unfair biases during the proceedings.
Lastly, an accused has the right to have a legal advocate to support and assist them during the campus’ investigation process. This right to legal counsel is critical, and anyone facing Title IX accusations in Phoenix should exercise it by contacting a local attorney immediately. An attorney can also help an individual use their right to appeal the outcome of an investigation if needed.
Without proper legal representation, a sexual misconduct or rape accusation can immediately impact an individual’s reputation, career, and livelihood. An accused party may also face harsh disciplinary action from the university as a result of the proceedings.
Title IX consequences do not end at the university level. An individual may also face criminal charges related to the misconduct allegations. Under the Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1406, a sexual assault charge can result in up to 14 years in prison for first-time offenders. While these consequences may seem brutal, a knowledgeable attorney can build a defense aimed at mitigating the long-term effects of a Title IX case upon an individual’s life.
The consequences for Title IX charges can be severe, and the investigation process tedious as schools are required to follow strict guidelines set forth by law. An accusation alone may result in suspension or expulsion from school and a criminal record if there is an arrest.
A Phoenix Title IX lawyer can help you understand what options are available and how best to protect yourself during this potentially life-changing event. If you are facing accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct on campus, schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today. We can thoroughly review your case and work with you to put together a strong defense.