Criminal Proceedings Versus Washington DC Campus Title IX Proceedings

In recent years, Washington DC colleges and universities have been cracking down on sexual assault, violence, and harassment on their campuses. Alleged victims of these offenses have the option of pursuing an administrative complaint, filing criminal charges, or both. A criminal conviction could result in severe penalties for the accused party.

It is essential to keep in mind, however, that school proceedings and criminal court proceedings are two very different processes, and different consequences and penalties could result from each. In some instances, a jury or judge could find the accused student not guilty, but the campus investigations or proceedings could still result in disciplinary action.

If you or your child incurred school or criminal Title IX charges, you might need a knowledgeable student defense lawyer by your side. An experienced attorney can explain the differences between criminal proceedings and Washington DC campus Title IX proceedings and represent your best interests throughout both.

Title IX Campus Proceedings

While the purpose of criminal proceedings is for the government to punish illegal acts, Title IX proceedings have a more limited focus on campus safety and order. Accordingly, in a campus proceeding, the burden of proof is not nearly as high as it is in the criminal context.

Also, unlike criminal court proceedings, the penalties in a stand-alone campus proceeding could never lead to incarceration for the accused student. Instead, if the hearing panel finds that the accused student is guilty of committing the alleged act, the student could face a verbal reprimand, suspension, or expulsion from the college or university.

The school could also note the violation on the student’s transcript or permanent record. When that happens, it could become significantly more difficult for the accused student to gain admission to another college or university, gain admission to a graduate program, or even find a job in the future. A student defense attorney can fully explain the differences in criminal proceedings versus Washington DC campus Title IX proceedings and how they apply to a particular case.

Criminal Proceedings

Students accused of a crime have numerous rights and protections that they do not typically have in school disciplinary settings. Those rights include:

  • The right to legal representation by a competent, licensed attorney
  • The right to review evidence in advance of trial
  • The right to cross-examine all adverse witnesses—including the alleged victim—and to confront them in court
  • The right to not incriminate themselves and/or to refuse to take the witness stand at trial

As opposed to Washington DC campus Title IX proceedings, the prosecution in criminal proceedings must satisfy a high burden of proof. Specifically, the prosecutor must demonstrate the student’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If a jury or judge finds the accused student guilty and/or convicts them, then the student could face harsh criminal penalties, including probation, fines, and jail time. The penalties that come with a conviction depend primarily upon the accused’s criminal history, the nature and circumstances of the offense, and any mitigating or aggravating factors.

Find Out More About Criminal and DC Campus Title IX Proceedings

Both criminal proceedings and Washington DC campus Title IX proceedings can result in harsh and long-standing consequences. If you are in the midst of either or both of these proceedings, call a student defense lawyer to find out how they might be able to help you with your case. An attorney could explain the differences between criminal proceedings and Washington DC campus Title IX proceedings and work to help you minimize the potential consequences.