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Common Challenges of a Title IX Hearing

Alec Rose Law Office June 14, 2022

Teenage Boy Attacked by Thug in Abandoned Building.If you’re a college student and are accused of a crime or violation of the school’s policies, you may be asked to attend a Title IX hearing. The majority of allegations under Title IX relate to sexual misconduct. In the 2019-20 school year at UCLA, 44% of the cases were for sexual harassment and 32% were for sexual violence. This can be an extremely stressful process both for the accused and the accuser—but both parties deserve to have their stories heard and their rights represented.

If you’ve been charged with violating the Title IX laws at your school and need legal assistance preparing for your trial, call me at the Law Office of Alec Rose PC today. My office is in Los Angeles but I can help students throughout California schools, including UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis, Marymount California University, University of San Diego, Occidental College, and more.

What is a Title IX Hearing?

If you’re a student at a college or university in the U.S., you may have already heard of Title IX. This federal law was put into place in 1972 and guarantees equal access to activities for women in universities, as well as protects them from sex discrimination of all kinds. Most commonly, this law addresses concerns of sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender harassment, and gender discrimination. If you’re charged with one of these student violations or misconduct provisions, you’ll be asked to attend a hearing to determine your guilt. These proceedings are very important and it’s essential you have adequate preparation for a Title IX hearing.

One of the best ways to ensure you have a fair hearing is to contact a local criminal defense attorney who can walk you through the steps of what to expect and make sure you fully understand the charges leveled against you. Planning for a hearing takes time and you have every right to review evidence, examine prior statements, and talk through your concerns with your attorney as well as your hearing officer.

Common Challenges During a Hearing 

No college student expects to have to go through a Title IX hearing, and it’s common to feel overwhelmed by the entire experience. Know that there are structures in place to ensure everyone has equal representation—but you’ll also run into challenges during a hearing and will need to be proactive in advocating for yourself. 

Are You Feeling Unprepared?

It’s important to take enough time before your hearing to make sure you fully understand not only the accusations being made against you but also that you understand the hearing process in general. Ask as many questions as you can during the pre-hearing held at your school about the actual hearing. 

Are You Overwhelmed with Questions?

Once the hearing begins, the hearing officer will ask you many questions about the incident. This can be a traumatic experience, but just remember to speak truthfully, focus on the question, and leave out details that were not directly asked for. It will be tempting to thoroughly explain your side of the story, but you’re better off giving shorter answers and waiting for the officer to ask more questions. 

Are You Confused?

If you’re confused at any time during the hearing, you’re allowed to pause and speak with your attorney privately about what exactly is going on. You’re entitled to the support of an attorney throughout the entire process. It is your hearing and you should know what’s going on.  

What if You Don’t Know the Answer to a Question?

You should never feel like you have to make up an answer to a question you don’t know. If you can’t remember or legitimately don’t know an answer, it’s okay to say, “I don’t know,” or, “I don’t remember.” You should never make up an answer or lie in any way during the hearing. Remember, if you are ever unsure about your responses, you can ask to confer with your attorney or your hearing officer. 

Appeals Process 

If you’re found to be responsible (this is the word Title IX uses for “guilty”), you still have options. You may now be able to start the appeals process with your attorney. Appeals can be made by either party. In general, you have five days to submit your appeal in writing. 

Skilled Legal Guidance 

Since Title IX has been in place, it has ensured that women across the country are able to access quality education and have their rights protected. This is undoubtedly a good thing, but it also means that the students who are accused must be adequately represented. If you’re currently enrolled in a college in the Los Angeles, California area and are facing a Title IX hearing, contact me today to start working on your defense. At the Law Office of Alec Rose PC, I’ll make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld.