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Rights During a Fairfax Title IX Investigation

Facing any allegation of sexual misconduct or harassment based on another person’s gender is a serious matter. It is understandable that you may be frightened and confused as to what to expect moving forward. All Title IX investigations are not formal criminal matters but are instead investigations handled by the school.

All schools that receive federal funding must create and implement investigatory procedures to handle allegations of sexual violence or harassment that impact members of their community. This includes investigating alleged violations committed by their students. Because this is not a criminal case, the rights of students may vary, and investigators do not need to follow the same rules of evidence that prosecutors in criminal courts do.

Understanding your rights during a Fairfax Title IX investigation is key to mounting a viable defense. This guide provides examples of a typical code of conduct and investigatory procedure that may affect Fairfax students facing accusations of misconduct. Call a seasoned student defense lawyer today.

Student Rights Concerning the Process as a Whole

Every school that receives federal funding must create an action plan to deal with alleged violations of Title IX. This includes a plan to investigate and punish alleged violators. In addition, the school must publish this information and follow their own procedures in every instance.

One school’s policy in Appendix A states that defendants in these cases may question the very methods by which the investigation is taking place. Students may voice their concerns in writing to their assigned Title IX compliance officer if they feel that their rights as articulated under the policy are threatened.

There is a collection of other pre-hearing rights named in this policy. They include:

  • The right to reasonable privacy
  • The right to a prompt resolution of the matter
  • The right to receive timely notice of any hearings that affect the case where the defendant’s presence is required
  • The right to receive written notice of any proceedings that alleged violation of Title IX

Much like a criminal case in a Commonwealth Court, a violation of these procedural laws may threaten the investigation as a whole. An attorney could help to ensure that a student’s pre-hearing rights are respected and to raise any concerns with the relevant Title IX office.

Student Rights During a Hearing

Title IX investigations are not formal criminal matters. As a result, a defendant does not enjoy Constitutional protections. Still, there are rights articulated in many school Title IX policies that dictate the hearing process.

First, all students facing accusations of Title IX accusations have the right to representation during the entire process. This can include the services of an attorney during any formal or informal meeting.

Second, a student-defendant has the right to present evidence during hearings. This includes the right to call witnesses to testify on a student’s behalf.

Finally, a student always has the right to testify on their own behalf. An attorney could help to gather evidence that may help a student’s case and to direct their testimony during any formal hearings.

Students Do Have Rights During a Fairfax Title IX Investigation

Facing allegations of a Title IX violation can be an intimidating prospect. Still, it is vital to remember that you have rights during these hearings. These rights are not as extensive as those enjoyed by criminal defendants in Commonwealth cases, but nevertheless, do afford students some protections before and during the investigative process.

These include the right to challenge the legitimacy of the investigation itself, the right to obtain legal representation, and to present evidence at a hearing for one’s own defense. Your rights during a Fairfax Title IX investigation are substantial, and a lawyer may be able to help you to exercise those rights. Contact an attorney to learn more about your Title IX rights during an investigation.

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