DC Title IX Lawyer

Life as a college student in any of Washington DC’s schools may be a confusing and difficult time. Many students struggle with their newfound freedom and can find the adaptation to living on their own difficult. It is not uncommon for young adults to have a run-in with the law.

If these run-ins involve some form of sexual violence, the school is required to step in. Title IX of US law requires schools to prevent any discrimination against their students on the basis of sex. These same laws name harassment, stalking, and any form of sexual violence as a form of discrimination. As a result, a student accused of sexual violence may face not just criminal charges but also a school investigation.

A DC Title IX lawyer may be able to help to even the odds in any proceeding. Well-practiced attorneys could work to defend your rights in court against the charges brought by the prosecutor. At the same time, they could help to fight for the ability for you to continue your education.

The Role of Title IX in Investigations

In 1972, Congress mandated that all schools that receive any form of federal funding must prohibit all discrimination on the basis of sex. This group of laws is known as Title IX. Over the years, this expanded to include a requirement that schools act to prevent and investigate any allegations of sexual crimes that occur on their property. This even includes any incident committed by members of their student body against another that occurs off-campus.

Every school maintains a code of conduct that binds students to certain behavior. A violation of the Title IX rules concerning sexual violence may certainly count as a violation of that code of conduct. Title IX also requires schools to investigate any alleged violation of Title IX.

These investigatory bodies have great power to gather evidence, to speak with witnesses, and even to compel students to testify before the body. Making matters worse, the boards may suspend or even expel a student, even if a criminal prosecution goes nowhere. A Title IX attorney in DC could help students to defend their ability to continue their education following a Title IX complaint involving sexual violence.

The Potential Criminal Penalties

While the potential penalties to a student’s education are certainly cause for concern, the criminal ramifications of an accusation are also harsh. Schools are required to report any criminal activity that takes place on their property, and police departments have the full authority to arrest any student if they have probable cause of a crime.

As this applies to Title IX accusations, many sections of Washington DC’s criminal code prohibit violence against people because of their sex. For example, it is illegal to intentionally cause a fear of harm in another person under DC Code §22-3133. Known as stalking, this may intersect with a Title IX allegation if the target of the alleged incident is made to feel fear because of their sex.

More serious are allegations of actual violence against another because of their sex. Simply touching another person without their permission is assault according to DC Code §22-404. If the accuser in the incident is the target because of their gender, then both a Title IX investigation and a criminal charge may result. Individuals facing Title IX violations should speak with a Washington DC attorney to learn which penalties they may face.

How a Washington DC Title IX Attorney Could Help

 The days following a Title IX incident may be confusing and intimidating. You may be wondering what your rights are or if the incident will result in a criminal charge. Or perhaps an arrest has already happened, and you are wondering how to protect your future. The fact is that any arrest for a criminal offense is a serious matter. However, arrests that are coupled with a Title IX investigation can be devastating.

A DC Title IX lawyer could fight for you. Their main goal is to defeat any criminal allegation in court. However, even if a court case does not result in a conviction, your school may still act for any alleged violation of the conduct code. An attorney could help in these matters as well to advise you of your rights and to prepare you for any hearings. Contact an attorney immediately to get to work.