Imagine this; You work your entire life for a chance to attend college. The countless hours of studying, preparing, touring, and planning to find that perfect college experience. You get the admittance letter and your future career is in sight. All of your sacrifices will soon pay off. Then, suddenly, it is all in jeopardy. You received a letter from the Title IX Office of your college notifying you that you have been accused of sexual assault. The next several months will be full of surprise, fear, and countless questions about what to do. You will need a Title IX lawyer to help you out.
Don’t Wait to Contact an Attorney
The U.S. Department of Education requires every college to have a Title IX office and coordinator. Instead of contacting the office right away, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. It does not matter that your college has told you that you don’t need an attorney. It does not matter that your college has provided you with an advisor. It does not matter that the allegations are not true. You must defend yourself like everything you have worked for is in jeopardy, because it is.
I have recently received phone calls from parents from two different colleges. Both were panicking. Their sons had been found responsible. One had been suspended for a full year after being advised that he had nothing to worry about. At that point, you have very limited rights to appeal your hearing decision and, in most cases, it is too late.
How do I prove something didn’t happen?
The most important reason for hiring an experienced attorney as soon as possible is because you must conduct your own investigation. Most Title IX cases are inevitably “he said vs. she said” and the hearing may be decided in favor of who the hearing board believes more or which of the parties can present the most corroboration. But the most common question I face is “how do I prove a negative?” In other words, how do I prove that something didn’t happen? Every case is different and presents its own challenges, but here are the top 5 ways of assisting your attorney with proving your innocence:
- Search for and preserve any social media posts. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and any other platform used. This includes both before and after the alleged incident. These posts can be extremely important and prove what another person’s demeanor may be.
- Search for and preserve all text messages and communication with the other party from both before and after the alleged incident.
- Provide your attorney with the names of any witnesses that may have interacted with you and the other party around the time of the alleged incident. In a lot of these cases, intoxication is an important factor. While these witnesses may not be direct witnesses to the allegations, they may be witnesses to that person’s behavior on the date of the alleged incident.
- Collect and preserve all photographs taken by you and others on the date in question. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Provide your attorney with the location of the alleged incident as well as other places that may be relevant. Your attorney can then hire an investigator to search for surveillance video footage from any bars, restaurants, or private exterior cameras that may show you and the other parties on the date in question.
Contact King Law; Title IX Attorneys
This list is not exhaustive. I have found value in providing employment records, EZ Pass records, class schedules, emails with professors. The truth is, you never know what will help prove your innocence. You worked your whole life to get to this point, give yourself the best shot of keeping it from going down the drain by contacting King Law today.