Any Title IX investigation in Fairfax is a serious matter. A school’s disciplinary board can take extreme steps to affect your academic future including forcing you to change a resident, to stop participating in extracurricular activities, issuing a suspension, or even expulsion. While these consequences are severe, it is also possible that you are facing concurrent criminal charges.
Many alleged Title IX violations are also criminal acts. As a result, any alleged victims may directly contact the police to file a complaint. In addition, a school’s security team is obligated to report any criminal activity that takes place on their property. This can result in your arrest and prosecution.
Your status as a student provides no protection from potential criminal penalties. In addition, even if you manage to avoid conviction in court, your school may still act to damage your academic future. It is vitally important to understand how concurrent Fairfax criminal investigations and Title IX allegations interact.
All schools are required by law to investigate any violations of Title IX that affect their students. This includes investigating any alleged incidence of sexual violence or harassment. These investigatory boards have the authority to gather evidence, to speak to witnesses, and to require a defendant student to appear in person to answer questions.
However, a defendant-student’s troubles may not end there. If the allegations involve an apparent violation of the Commonwealth’s criminal laws, the school must report those violations to the local police department. While there are certainly instances of supposed Title IX violations that do not break the law, many others may reasonably fit under Commonwealth law. An attorney could help students to understand the obligations of schools to investigate alleged Title IX violations and their role in working with local police.
Many incidents that involve sex discrimination are also violations of the criminal code. Prominent examples include:
In all of these examples, the defendant’s status as a student has no bearing whatsoever on the case. Defendants here will face full criminal charges and any resulting penalties are independent of the outcome of any school’s disciplinary hearing. While a conviction in criminal court does not guarantee punishment by a school, it does serve as extremely powerful evidence of guilt. In the same vein, an acquittal by the criminal court does not promise the same result at school.
In short, the schools and courts operate independently of each other and the cases may come to very different results. An attorney could help to defend students accused of criminal charges to defend their freedom in criminal court.
It is bad enough when a school decides to open an investigation into supposed violations of their code of conduct. But when the school is obligated to share their evidence with the police department, your situation can quickly get out of hand.
Many alleged violations of Title IX are accompanied by related but separate criminal investigations. It is possible to face both academic and criminal consequences following these investigations.
An attorney could help to protect your future on both fronts. They can work to help you to navigate your school’s disciplinary process as well as to provide a powerful defense in criminal court. Contact an attorney today to learn more about the intersections between criminal allegations and Title IX.
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