May 17, 2023 | Title IX
Title IX and criminal complaints are two different methods of responding to allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and other violations in educational settings. Both types of complaints are serious, and it’s important to understand the differences between the two processes and the impact an allegation can have on your future.
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that guarantees students of all genders the right to an education free from sexual discrimination. On the other hand, criminal charges are filed in response to violations of local laws or regulations.
Title IX Process and Investigation
To formally file a Title IX complaint, the complainant must submit written information identifying all parties involved and details of the alleged incident. All Title IX complaints must be signed by either the complainant or an authorized representative. Schools are required to take appropriate steps – like beginning an investigation – to resolve complaints involving sexual harassment and violence.
Criminal Accusations Process and Investigation
Filing a criminal complaint is fairly straightforward. You can call 911 to make a police report or walk into the local police station to get started. It is not always necessary to provide a written statement – it may be sufficient to simply explain your accusations.
The police have discretion when deciding whether they need to conduct an investigation following receipt of a criminal complaint. They will consider factors like the severity of the alleged crime and the complainant’s credibility in making this decision.
Timeline for Title IX Claims
Regulations from the Department of Education recommend that all Title IX investigations are completed within approximately 60 days, though schools can adopt their own timeframe. There may be exceptions to the applicable deadline if good cause is presented for a delay in the grievance process.
Good cause could include an absence of an advisor during hearings or interviews, the need for disability accommodations, or if other criminal investigations related to the circumstance are ongoing.
Timeline for Criminal Cases
The length of a criminal investigation can vary greatly depending on the type and severity of the crime being investigated. In most cases, investigations may span from a few weeks to over a year, with investigators working to gather evidence and review all aspects of the allegations.
There is no mandated time frame (other than the statute of limitations, which is usually decades for sex crimes) for completion. Different elements, such as witness interviews or forensic analysis, could take time.
The Burden of Proof in Title IX Hearings and Criminal Cases
Title IX adjudication hearings must typically reach a decision based on a preponderance of the evidence, which is the lowest standard of proof. This standard requires the fact finders to believe that the allegation is more likely true than not – it is more than 50% believable.
However, schools may also decide to use a clear and convincing evidence standard, which is a higher burden than the preponderance of the evidence.
On the other hand, criminal trials have a higher burden of proof, known as beyond a reasonable doubt. To prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, it must be proven that no other reasonable explanation can come from the evidence presented.
Title IX Penalties
Punishment for Title IX violations and criminal cases are both high stakes for the accused. Facing either type of charge can create a lifetime’s worth of consequences in terms of social, educational, and career opportunities.
The penalties levied under Title IX investigations are limited to actions the school or institution may take within an educational setting. This can include suspension, restrictions on the use of programs and services offered by the educational institution, and expulsion, depending on the severity of the allegation.
While Title IX may lead to punishments such as suspension from activities or school expulsion, criminal sentencing can have much more severe consequences. For example, those found guilty of severe crimes could face sentences including not only prison time but also sex offender registration, sometimes for life.
This can affect all aspects of your life, including where you can live and what types of jobs you are eligible for.
Constitutional Rights – Title IX Proceedings vs. Criminal Cases
While those accused of Title IX violations have certain rights and responsibilities, they do not enjoy all the same constitutional rights as defendants in criminal proceedings.
For instance, respondents are not protected by a right to remain silent due to potential self-incrimination, as they are in criminal cases.
They also lack protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, which means that school administrators may have the right to search individuals’ belongings looking for evidence relevant to a Title IX case without providing notice or obtaining consent or a warrant.
If you’re facing Title IX allegations or criminal charges, contact a Dayton Title IX attorney for assistance.
Contact the Dayton Title IX Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
For more information, contact the Title IX attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC give us a call today at (937) 531-0435 or visit us at our Dayton law office.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402