Have you been accused of sexual harassment, assault, or rape as a college student? Are you facing disciplinary actions from your university or the criminal justice system? You may be struggling with several stressful questions:

  • What if I’m innocent?
  • Am I going to get expelled from school?
  • Could I face jail time?
  • What other penalties might there be?
  • Do I need a lawyer for my school hearing?

Our California Title IX defense lawyers can help you begin planning for your defense in a free consultation.

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Our experienced California Title IX lawyers can help you understand your legal rights after being accused of sexual misconduct on campus.

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Title IX is a controversial federal law which prohibits discrimination on college campuses on the basis of sex or gender. This law is also used in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault involving college students. Advocates of this law claim it protects victims of sexual misconduct, but critics say that the accused in these cases are denied the same rights they’d receive in the criminal justice system.

When someone is accused of a crime in the United States, they’re supposedly innocent until proven guilty. But when a college student is accused of sexual misconduct, he or she may face penalties even if guilt is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’ve recently been accused of sexual misconduct in California and are facing disciplinary actions from your university, we advise speaking with an experienced California Title IX defense lawyer about your legal rights.

Title IX Guidelines For Sexual Misconduct Cases

Title IX outlines several requirements for federally funded schools when one student accuses another of sexual misconduct:

  • A designated Title IX coordinator must be appointed and publicly identified
  • Publish a policy prohibiting discrimination based on sex or gender
  • Institute grievance procedures
  • Investigate all complaints
  • Provide victims with support systems (such as counseling)

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What Does The Dear Colleague Letter Mean For Campus Sexual Assault Cases?

In September 2017, the Department of Education (DOE) released a Dear Colleague Letter, which updated the guidelines for universities dealing with complaints of sexual harassment and assault. According to the DOE, changes were needed because the previous system encouraged universities to resolve complaints quickly without offering the accused the due process they’d receive if charged with a criminal offense.

Universities often felt pressured to take disciplinary action prematurely, because they could lose federal funding for failing to appropriately handle cases of sexual assault. Schools were pressured to resolve cases within 60 days of the complaint. This meant that accused students were often denied the premise of being “innocent until proven guilty”, as the university might place their own financial interests over the facts.

This new letter waives that 60-day time limit, with no time limit currently set. The school also must provide the accused student with written notice of the investigation, including details about the alleged misconduct. These students also must be allowed sufficient time to gather evidence which could prove their innocence. In the past, accused students had no right to hear details of the claims against them.
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Penalties For Campus Sexual Misconduct In California

While Title IX is a federal law, the penalties for students found guilty of sexual misconduct vary between schools. An experienced lawyer who specializes in Title IX defense will be aware of how different universities in California handle these allegations, and how they punish the students they deem guilty of sexual offenses.

In December 2015 the Chancellor of the University of California – Santa Cruz (UCSC) penned a letter to the university, outlining changes in the disciplinary penalties for students found responsible for violating Title IX. There is a mandatory minimum two-year suspension for cases of sexual violence, and a one-year mandatory suspension for other forms of sexual misconduct. These changes applied to all University of California campuses.

Regardless of your university, the penalties for sexual misconduct are often severe. You may have difficulty finishing your classes and graduating, be ostracized by your peers, and struggle to find a career after school. These allegations must be taken seriously.

How Does The Disciplinary System Work?

Some students have the popular misconception that a hearing is a criminal trial. However, this is not the case. A disciplinary Title IX hearing is simply focused on the penalties the accused will face as a student of the university. In some cases, the accused party may face criminal charges and potential jail time in addition to the penalties levied by their university.

In a criminal trial, the defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted. However, Title IX hearings set the burden of proof at a “preponderance of evidence” – which means the evidence suggests that it’s more than 50% likely that the accused is guilty. Because of the dire consequences if you are found guilty of the offense you’ve been accused of, it’s important to speak with an experienced California Title IX defense lawyer early in the process.

Our California Title IX defense lawyers can work to investigate the complaint against you, gather evidence, and argue on your behalf during the hearing. You are much more likely to receive a favorable outcome with legal representation – otherwise, it may be your word against the accuser’s. And without compelling evidence and the ability to present it effectively, the board is much more likely to take the accuser’s word.

Representing Students From Universities Throughout California:

Academy of Art UniversitySan Francisco, California
Allan Hancock CollegeSanta Maria, California
American Academy of Dramatic Arts Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
American Conservatory TheaterSan Francisco, California
American Jewish UniversityLos Angeles, California
American River CollegeSacramento, California
American University of Health SciencesSignal Hill, California
Antelope Valley CollegeLancaster, California
Argosy University Inland EmpireOntario, California
Argosy University Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
Argosy University Orange CountyOrange, California
Argosy University San DiegoSan Diego, California
Argosy University San Francisco Bay AreaAlameda, California
Art Center College of DesignPasadena, California
Azusa Pacific Online UniversityGlendora, California
Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusa, California
Bakersfield CollegeBakersfield, California
Barstow Community CollegeBarstow, California
Berkeley City CollegeBerkeley, California
Bethesda University of CaliforniaAnaheim, California
Biola UniversityLa Mirada, California
Brooks InstituteSanta Barbara, California
Bryan UniversityLos Angeles, California
Butte CollegeOroville, California
Cabrillo CollegeAptos, California
California Baptist UniversityRiverside, California
California Christian CollegeFresno, California
California College of the ArtsOakland, California
California College San DiegoSan Diego, California
California Culinary AcademySan Francisco, California
California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, California
California Institute of the ArtsValencia, California
California Lutheran UniversityThousand Oaks, California
California Maritime AcademyVallejo, California
California Polytechnic State University San Luis ObispoSan Luis Obispo, California
California State Polytechnic University PomonaPomona, California
California State University BakersfieldBakersfield, California
California State University Channel IslandsCamarillo, California
California State University ChicoChico, California
California State University Dominguez HillsCarson, California
California State University East BayHayward, California
California State University FresnoFresno, California
California State University FullertonFullerton, California
California State University Long BeachLong Beach, California
California State University Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
California State University Monterey BaySeaside, California
California State University NorthridgeNorthridge, California
California State University SacramentoSacramento, California
California State University San BernardinoSan Bernardino, California
California State University San MarcosSan Marcos, California
California State University StanislausTurlock, California
Canada CollegeRedwood City, California
Cerritos CollegeNorwalk, California
Cerro Coso Community CollegeRidgecrest, California
Chabot CollegeHayward, California
Chaffey CollegeRancho Cucamonga, California
Chapman UniversityOrange, California
Charles R Drew University of Medicine and ScienceLos Angeles, California
Citrus CollegeGlendora, California
City College of San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont, California
Coastline Community CollegeFountain Valley, California
Cogswell CollegeSunnyvale, California
Coleman UniversitySan Diego, California
College of AlamedaAlameda, California
College of MarinKentfield, California
College of San MateoSan Mateo, California
College of the CanyonsSanta Clarita, California
College of the DesertPalm Desert, California
College of the RedwoodsEureka, California
College of the SequoiasVisalia, California
College of the SiskiyousWeed, California
Columbia CollegeSonora, California
Columbia College HollywoodTarzana, California
Community Christian CollegeRedlands, California
Concordia University IrvineIrvine, California
Contra Costa CollegeSan Pablo, California
Copper Mountain Community CollegeJoshua Tree, California
Cosumnes River CollegeSacramento, California
Crafton Hills CollegeYucaipa, California
Cuesta CollegeSan Luis Obispo, California
Cuyamaca CollegeEl Cajon, California
Cypress CollegeCypress, California
De Anza CollegeCupertino, California
Dell’Arte International School of Physical TheatreBlue Lake, California
Design Institute of San DiegoSan Diego, California
DeVry University CaliforniaPomona, California
Diablo Valley CollegePleasant Hill, California
Dominican University of CaliforniaSan Rafael, California
East Los Angeles CollegeMonterey Park, California
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational ProgramWest Covina, California
El Camino College Compton CenterCompton, California
El Camino Community College DistrictTorrance, California
Epic Bible CollegeSacramento, California
Everest College AnaheimAnaheim, California
Everest College City of IndustryCity of Industry, California
Everest College Ontario MetroOntario, California
Everest College ResedaReseda, California
Everest College West Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
Evergreen Valley CollegeSan Jose, California
Expression College for Digital ArtsEmeryville, California
Fashion Careers CollegeSan Diego, California
Feather River Community College DistrictQuincy, California
FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Orange CountyIrvine, California
FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising San DiegoSan Diego, California
FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
Folsom Lake CollegeFolsom, California
Foothill CollegeLos Altos Hills, California
Fresno City CollegeFresno, California
Fresno Pacific UniversityFresno, California
Fullerton CollegeFullerton, California
Gavilan CollegeGilroy, California
Glendale Community CollegeGlendale, California
Golden West CollegeHuntington Beach, California
Golf Academy of America CarlsbadCarlsbad, California
Grossmont CollegeEl Cajon, California
Hands on Medical Massage SchoolRedlands, California
Hartnell CollegeSalinas, California
Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, California
Heald College ConcordConcord, California
Heald College FresnoFresno, California
Heald College HaywardHayward, California
Heald College ModestoSalida, California
Heald College RosevilleRoseville, California
Heald College San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
Heald College San JoseMilpitas, California
Heald College StocktonStockton, California
Holy Names UniversityOakland, California
Hope International UniversityFullerton, California
Horizon College San DiegoSan Diego, California
Humboldt State UniversityArcata, California
Humphreys College Stockton and Modesto CampusesStockton, California
Imperial Valley CollegeImperial, California
International Academy of Design and Technology SacramentoSacramento, California
International Professional School of BodyworkSan Diego, California
Irvine Valley CollegeIrvine, California
ITT Technical Institute ClovisClovis, California
ITT Technical Institute ConcordConcord, California
ITT Technical Institute CoronaCorona, California
ITT Technical Institute Culver CityCulver City, California
ITT Technical Institute LathropLathrop, California
ITT Technical Institute OaklandOakland, California
ITT Technical Institute OrangeOrange, California
ITT Technical Institute OxnardOxnard, California
ITT Technical Institute Rancho CordovaRancho Cordova, California
ITT Technical Institute San BernardinoSan Bernardino, California
ITT Technical Institute San DiegoSan Diego, California
ITT Technical Institute San DimasSan Dimas, California
ITT Technical Institute SylmarSylmar, California
ITT Technical Institute TorranceTorrance, California
ITT Technical Institute West CovinaWest Covina, California
John Paul the Great Catholic UniversitySan Diego, California
King’s UniversityVan Nuys, California
La Sierra UniversityRiverside, California
Laguna College of Art and DesignLaguna Beach, California
Lake Tahoe Community CollegeSouth Lake Tahoe, California
Laney CollegeOakland, California
Las Positas CollegeLivermore, California
Lassen Community CollegeSusanville, California
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts PasadenaPasadena, California
Life Pacific CollegeSan Dimas, California
Lincoln UniversityOakland, California
Long Beach City CollegeLong Beach, California
Los Angeles City CollegeLos Angeles, California
Los Angeles College of MusicPasadena, California
Los Angeles Harbor CollegeWilmington, California
Los Angeles Mission CollegeSylmar, California
Los Angeles Pierce CollegeWoodland Hills, California
Los Angeles Southwest CollegeLos Angeles, California
Los Angeles Trade Technical CollegeLos Angeles, California
Los Angeles Valley CollegeValley Glen, California
Los Medanos CollegePittsburg, California
Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles, California
Marymount CollegeRancho Palos Verdes, California
Mendocino CollegeUkiah, California
Menlo CollegeAtherton, California
Merced CollegeMerced, California
Merritt CollegeOakland, California
Mills CollegeOakland, California
MiraCosta CollegeOceanside, California
Mission CollegeSanta Clara, California
Modesto Junior CollegeModesto, California
Monterey Peninsula CollegeMonterey, California
Moorpark CollegeMoorpark, California
Moreno Valley CollegeMoreno Valley, California
Mount St. Mary’s CollegeLos Angeles, California
Mt Sierra CollegeMonrovia, California
Mt. San Antonio CollegeWalnut, California
Mt. San Jacinto Community College DistrictSan Jacinto, California
Musicians InstituteHollywood, California
Napa Valley CollegeNapa, California
National UniversityLa Jolla, California
Newschool of Architecture and DesignSan Diego, California
Norco CollegeNorco, California
Notre Dame de Namur UniversityBelmont, California
Occidental CollegeLos Angeles, California
Ohlone Community CollegeFremont, California
Orange Coast CollegeCosta Mesa, California
Otis College of Art and DesignLos Angeles, California
Oxnard CollegeOxnard, California
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine LLC San DiegoSan Diego, California
Pacific States UniversityLos Angeles, California
Pacific Union CollegeAngwin, California
Palo Verde CollegeBlythe, California
Palomar CollegeSan Marcos, California
Pasadena City CollegePasadena, California
Patten UniversityOakland, California
Pepperdine UniversityMalibu, California
Pitzer CollegeClaremont, California
Platt College Los AngelesAlhambra, California
Platt College OntarioOntario, California
Platt College San DiegoSan Diego, California
Point Loma Nazarene UniversitySan Diego, California
Pomona CollegeClaremont, California
Porterville CollegePorterville, California
Professional Golfers Career CollegeTemecula, California
Providence Christian CollegePasadena, California
Reedley CollegeReedley, California
Rio Hondo CollegeWhittier, California
Riverside City CollegeRiverside, California
Sacramento City CollegeSacramento, California
Saddleback CollegeMission Viejo, California
Sage CollegeMoreno Valley, California
Saint Marys College of CaliforniaMoraga, California
San Diego Christian CollegeEl Cajon, California
San Diego City CollegeSan Diego, California
San Diego Mesa CollegeSan Diego, California
San Diego Miramar CollegeSan Diego, California
San Diego State UniversitySan Diego, California
San Diego State University Imperial Valley CampusCalexico, California
San Francisco Art InstituteSan Francisco, California
San Francisco Conservatory of MusicSan Francisco, California
San Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco, California
San Joaquin Delta CollegeStockton, California
San Joaquin Valley College BakersfieldBakersfield, California
San Joaquin Valley College FresnoFresno, California
San Joaquin Valley College Fresno AviationFresno, California
San Joaquin Valley College HesperiaHesperia, California
San Joaquin Valley College ModestoSalida, California
San Joaquin Valley College OnlineVisalia, California
San Joaquin Valley College Rancho CordovaRancho Cordova, California
San Joaquin Valley College Rancho CucamongaRancho Cucamonga, California
San Joaquin Valley College TemeculaTemecula, California
San Joaquin Valley College VisaliaVisalia, California
San Jose City CollegeSan Jose, California
San Jose State UniversitySan Jose, California
Santa Ana CollegeSanta Ana, California
Santa Barbara Business College BakersfieldBakersfield, California
Santa Barbara Business College Santa MariaSanta Maria, California
Santa Barbara Business College VenturaVentura, California
Santa Barbara City CollegeSanta Barbara, California
Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara, California
Santa Monica CollegeSanta Monica, California
Santa Rosa Junior CollegeSanta Rosa, California
Santiago Canyon CollegeOrange, California
Scripps CollegeClaremont, California
Shasta Bible College and Graduate SchoolRedding, California
Shasta CollegeRedding, California
Sierra CollegeRocklin, California
Simpson UniversityRedding, California
Skyline CollegeSan Bruno, California
Soka University of AmericaAliso Viejo, California
Solano Community CollegeFairfield, California
Sonoma State UniversityRohnert Park, California
Southern California Institute of ArchitectureLos Angeles, California
Southern California Institute of TechnologyAnaheim, California
Southern California SeminaryEl Cajon, California
Southwestern CollegeChula Vista, California
Stanford UniversityStanford, California
SUM Bible College and Theological SeminaryOakland, California
Taft CollegeTaft, California
Taft University SystemSanta Ana, California
The Art Institute of California HollywoodNorth Hollywood, California
The Art Institute of California Inland EmpireSan Bernardino, California
The Art Institute of California Los AngelesSanta Monica, California
The Art Institute of California Orange CountySanta Ana, California
The Art Institute of California SacramentoSacramento, California
The Art Institute of California San DiegoSan Diego, California
The Art Institute of California San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
The Art Institute of California SunnyvaleSunnyvale, California
The Master’s College and SeminarySanta Clarita, California
The National Hispanic UniversitySan Jose, California
Thomas Aquinas CollegeSanta Paula, California
Touro College Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
Trident University InternationalCypress, California
Unitek CollegeFremont, California
University of California BerkeleyBerkeley, California
University of California DavisDavis, California
University of California IrvineIrvine, California
University of California Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
University of California MercedMerced, California
University of California RiversideRiverside, California
University of California San DiegoLa Jolla, California
University of California Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, California
University of California Santa CruzSanta Cruz, California
University of La VerneLa Verne, California
University of Phoenix Bay Area CampusSan Jose, California
University of Phoenix Central Valley CampusFresno, California
University of Phoenix Sacramento Valley CampusSacramento, California
University of Phoenix San Diego CampusSan Diego, California
University of Phoenix Southern California CampusCosta Mesa, California
University of RedlandsRedlands, California
University of San DiegoSan Diego, California
University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, California
University of the PacificStockton, California
University of the WestRosemead, California
Vanguard University of Southern CaliforniaCosta Mesa, California
Ventura CollegeVentura, California
Victor Valley CollegeVictorville, California
West Coast Ultrasound InstituteBeverly Hills, California
West Coast University Los AngelesNorth Hollywood, California
West Coast University OntarioOntario, California
West Coast University Orange CountyAnaheim, California
West Hills College CoalingaCoalinga, California
West Hills College LemooreLemoore, California
West Los Angeles CollegeCulver City, California
West Valley CollegeSaratoga, California
Westmont CollegeSanta Barbara, California
Westwood College AnaheimAnaheim, California
Westwood College Inland EmpireUpland, California
Westwood College Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
Westwood College South BayTorrance, California
Whittier CollegeWhittier, California
William Jessup UniversityRocklin, California
Woodbury UniversityBurbank, California
Woodland Community CollegeWoodland, California
World Mission UniversityLos Angeles, California
Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad West Coast Talmudical SeminaryLos Angeles, California
Yuba CollegeMarysville, California

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