Identifying Witnesses You Can Present for a Title IX Investigation
A sexual misconduct accusation in a college disciplinary proceeding requires the accused to act quickly to defend their name and record. However, this process can be complex. Typically, the procedures of a college or university for a sexual misconduct complaint include conducting an initial investigation, which can be done by a Title IX officer or investigator. If you are the alleged offender, you must have witnesses who are willing to cooperate with the investigator and give testimony in any hearing based on the findings of the investigation. A nationwide Title IX defense lawyer can help you find these witnesses and conduct your own investigation.
A witness is a person who has knowledge of the circumstances or facts regarding the sexual misconduct claim. They are called fact witnesses. But, you can also present a character witness that can be an individual who can attest to your character. They can testify that you respect other people of the same sex as the accuser at all times and in ways inconsistent with the complaint’s allegation.
Who Can Be Your Witnesses?
Consider who was there at the alleged incident. Did you see or speak with anyone or the accuser during a certain time before or during the incident of misconduct? You can check your text messages, emails, social media accounts, phone call logs, and videos. Speak with anyone you speak with or let the investigator do it for you.
Generally, it’s best to find fact witnesses with the knowledge that contradicts the allegations of your accuser. These witnesses can provide testimony that investigators will consider. When finding character witnesses, find those who have known you for a while and are willing to say some positive things about you.
Importance of Seeking Expert Help When You Prepare Your Witnesses
An experienced Title IX lawyer can identify a witness who can meet with an investigator and are willing to be cross-examined at a hearing. Also, they can eliminate factors that make your accuser’s witnesses less compelling like whether they were under the influence at the time the alleged incident took place or have a history of campus misconduct themselves. Your attorney will make sure the accounts of your witnesses are in your favor and considered at the hearing. Their trial-preparation skills ensure you can present your best case, so you can avoid being held responsible for committing a Title IX violation in your college or university campus. Your attorney will help protect your rights and establish a strong defense strategy for you.