Criminal Proceedings vs. Maryland Campus Title IX Proceedings

Facing allegations that you have committed an offense involving sexual harassment or some sort of sexual violence can have a two-pronged effect. It is true that schools have a requirement under Title IX to investigate and punish any supposed acts of sex discrimination that affect their students. At the same time, these schools have an obligation to report any incidents of apparent criminal activity to local law enforcement.

This could result in you facing simultaneous criminal charges and school disciplinary board hearings resulting from the same alleged behavior. It is extremely important that you understand the key differences in criminal proceedings vs. Maryland campus Title IX proceedings. Knowing how to defend yourself in each setting could serve to protect your academic future as well as your freedom.

What to Expect in a Criminal Case

Schools always have an obligation to report any alleged criminal activity that takes place on their property or that affects their students. Violations of Title IX certainly fit this description when they involve stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, or rape.

A person’s status as a college student has no effect on these cases. In fact, a school’s security service may even help police to gather evidence. However, defendants in criminal cases enjoy many rights that students before Maryland campus investigatory boards do not.

For example, police and prosecutors must follow all the rules of evidence when presenting cases to juries. Information gathered by illegal searches as well as hearsay cannot be admitted into evidence. Furthermore, the prosecutor in a criminal case must prove the charges beyond any reasonable doubt. This is a more stringent standard than that used by school discipline boards. An attorney could help to provide a powerful defense during any criminal cases that arise out of alleged violations of Title IX.

The Rules in Maryland Campus Title IX Hearings

Title IX hearings that take place before school disciplinary boards place defendants at a heavy disadvantage. Many of the rules concerning evidence that apply to criminal cases do not hold up in Maryland campus disciplinary cases. In fact, investigators may center their case around hearsay or even a defendant’s own required statements.

Making matters worse, the investigators in the case must only come to the conclusion that it was more likely than not that the violation occurred. Therefore, a he said, she said case could turn out badly for a defendant.

Finally, there is no right to representative counsel in most school board hearings. There is an absolute right to an attorney in a criminal case where a conviction could result in a jail sentence. While students may bring a representative with them to any Maryland campus Title IX proceeding, many schools prohibit these representatives from speaking during the sessions.

An attorney may still be able to help however in aiding a defendant to author written statements and to prepare their answers before a live committee session.

Learn More About the Differences in Criminal Proceedings vs. Maryland Campus Title IX Proceedings

Many accusations of Title IX violations may spawn simultaneous criminal charges and school disciplinary board hearings. While these two bodies may share evidence and have the same goal in punishing violations of Title IX, they must follow very different rules to meet these objectives.

Criminal procedures must follow the rules of evidence and criminal procedure. As a result, defendants have a much better chance at acquittal. School investigatory boards, on the other hand, need only to prove that it was more likely than not that an offense took place. They can issue punishment such as suspension or expulsion based on relatively weak evidence.

An attorney could help to protect your rights during both criminal proceedings and Maryland campus Title IX proceedings. Contact an attorney today to discuss these processes.