Miami Title IX Defense Attorneys
Aggressively Challenging Accusations of Title IX Violations
If you are accused of a Title IX violation, your school will take swift action to determine whether the allegations are true. Title IX proceedings involve investigations and hearings, but because they are not criminal matters, they do not follow the same process as courts. Although federal guidelines are in place to ensure that both the complainant (the person who made the accusation) and the respondent (the person accused of alleged misconduct) are treated fairly during these cases, often, the respondent's due process and other rights are at risk of being violated.
Because your educational or professional future is at stake, it is crucial that you speak with one of our experienced Title IX defense lawyers in Miami about your case. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we stand up for the accused, ensuring that their sides of the story are heard and their rights are protected. We know what devastating consequences can befall a person found responsible for a Title IX violation, which is why we work diligently to develop an aggressive defense for the people we help. We are ready to represent you through the investigation and hearing processes.
What Is Title IX?
In simple terms, Title IX is a federal anti-discrimination law. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools receiving federal funds. Enacted in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments, Title IX was developed to protect all people’s equal access to education.
Title IX prohibits a range of conduct, including:
- Sexual harassment,
- Sexual assault,
- Dating violence,
- Domestic violence, and
Sexual violence and other harmful behavior based on a person's sex or gender identity creates a hostile environment that can limit or prevent individuals from participating in educational activities, programs, and events. As such, this type of conduct violates Title IX protections.
What Is a Title IX Investigation?
As mentioned before, if an educational institution receives a report of sex-based discrimination occurring on campus, it must immediately respond. The process of addressing and correcting the issue begins with an investigation.
A Title IX investigator will examine the details of the allegations, gathering evidence that may be presented at the hearing. They will also interview the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses. The investigator is concerned with whether the school’s Title IX policy has been violated and not necessarily with whether a state law has been broken. Still, the matter may be recommended to law enforcement if illegal conduct occurred.
As a respondent in a Title IX investigation, you have the right to review the information the investigator gathered. The investigator must send you a copy of their report, giving you at least 10 days to respond.
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Title IX defense attorneys in Miami will be by your side throughout the investigation process. We can deliver sound advice and guidance on how to handle the interview. We can also go over the investigator's report to ensure that you understand the allegation against you, what the evidence means, and your options for challenging the accusation.
What Is a Title IX Hearing?
Title IX rules provide that the complainant and respondent have the right to present their cases at a live hearing. During this proceeding, each party can have an advisor of their choice, who can be a criminal defense attorney, represent them. Each party's advisor has the opportunity to cross-examine the other party and witnesses. Note that neither the complainant nor respondent themselves can ask questions or follow-up questions of the other side; this must be done through an advisor or attorney.
Title IX personnel will review and analyze the evidence, using either the "preponderance of the evidence" (meaning more likely than not) or the "clear and convincing evidence" (meaning highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue) standard. A decision-maker will determine whether the respondent is responsible for the alleged Title IX violation.
Our team is familiar with the administrative procedures involved in Title IX matters and can deliver the counsel you need throughout your hearing.
Miami Title IX attorneys represent students, faculty members, and staff members at colleges and universities in and around Miami, including:
- Florida International University
- University of Miami
- Miami Dade College
- South Florida State College
What Happens if You Violate Title IX?
A Title IX matter is not a criminal case, which means if a respondent is found responsible, the school will not impose criminal penalties, such as incarceration. However, they can face various sanctions that can affect their educational or professional future.
A few Title IX sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Verbal or written warning
- Academic probation
- Loss of scholarships
- Loss of employment
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami Title IX defense lawyers will put in the time and effort to seek a favorable outcome in your case.
What Should I Do if I'm Accused of a Title IX Violation?
The actions you take at the beginning of your Title IX matter – and even throughout the proceedings –can profoundly affect the progress of your case. To prevent adverse effects, there are things you should and should not do.
Below are the top 10 do's and don’ts when facing a Title IX action:
- Do not provide statements to anyone – not even your friends
- Do not speak with school officials about the incident
- Do not communicate with the complainant
- Do not speak with law enforcement officials over the phone – phone calls are recorded!
- Write a detailed narrative of the events
- Make a list of witness (people who can support your case) and their contact information
- Preserve surveillance footage – if the alleged incident happened in an area with cameras
- Preserve communications between you and the complainant (if any) – this includes texts and social media messaging (Snapchat, Instagram, etc.)
- Preserve physical evidence such as bedding and clothing – this could later be tested for DNA
- Contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. right away!
Get the Title IX Defense You Need
Our experienced Miami Title IX attorneys are ready to fight for you. With our in-depth understanding of Title IX and criminal law, we can deliver robust legal representation.
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