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Harsh Sanctions in Title IX Cases Call for a Robust Defense

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits academic institutions from discrimination based on sex, including sexual misconduct by students. When a student is accused of violating Title IX, the stakes are high. Not only could they be facing expulsion from their school, but the accusation may expose them to criminal prosecution, which might jeopardize their career and reputation.

Some examples of the types of misconduct that may trigger a Title IX investigation of a student by a college or a university include sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking. Sanctions may be imposed when it is found that there has been a Title IX violation.

Title IX sanctions are determined by each academic institution and vary depending on the severity of the violation. They may include:

  • Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • Loss of scholarships or other financial assistance
  • A ban from participating in extracurricular activities
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Withholding of a degree
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Required counseling

In cases of possible criminal conduct, a school may report the incident to a state or local prosecuting authority, which can conduct a parallel investigation that could result in court charges.

A Title IX hearing at a college or university is not a criminal court proceeding and as such the student does not have all of the constitutional protections one has in a criminal court of law. The student does have some rights, but they are diminished and watered down. In addition, there is a lower burden of proof than in a criminal trial. As a result, there is a higher probability that a violation will be found to have occurred.

Since educational institutions that fail to comply with Title IX may face loss of federal funding, schools take very seriously their responsibility to take corrective action. Sanctions against students found to have violated Title IX are thus often severe. As such, it is crucial that accusations be met with a strong defense.

If you are facing a Title IX charge at your college or university, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Schools do allow accused students a certain level of due process during an investigation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can analyze the facts of your case and build the strongest possible response to the charges.

Tylden Shaffer in San Antonio is a board-certified criminal law attorney with over 30 years of practice experience. If you have been accused of a Title IX violation in Central Texas, I will take prompt and thorough action to investigate your case and protect your rights. Call me at (210) 227-1500 or contact me online for a free consultation.

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