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Innocent Until Proven Guilty: New Title IX Changes Level the Playing Field for the Accused

student at desk
Title IX procedures currently do not provide the same protections to the accused party, as found in almost every other type of criminal proceeding. The current protocol for dealing with Title IX cases is based on the 1972 statute, which is grossly outdated.

However, the U.S. Department of Education recently released its newest Title IX regulations effective August 14, 2020. The regulations will undoubtedly change the way that these cases are handled moving forward.

We want to take a minute to explain the many changes these new regulations will bring.

Students Presumed Innocent

As we discussed earlier, Title IX cases are handled differently from pretty much every other criminal proceeding. Because Title IX cases are handled with such passion from prosecutors, t’s extremely common for the accused to be guilty until proven innocent. All too often, innocent students are treated like criminals because of this corrupt system.

The good news is that these changes aim to give accused students their presumption of innocence while going through Title IX investigations.


Cross-examination (n): The interrogation of a witness called by the other party in a court of law to challenge or extend testimony already given.

Cross-examination is, perhaps, one of the most lawful ways for criminal investigations to get solved. Unfortunately, as it stands currently, accused students in Title IX investigations do not get the luxury of cross-examination in the courtroom, without first jumping through hoops. They have to hand the questions to the committee and hope that they deem the question relevant. If so, the committee would then ask the accused’s questions.

The new changes will give accused students and their attorneys the ability to cross-examine the defendant in court.

The Burden of Proof & Full Discovery

“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is a concept that the accused parties of Title IX investigations do not get to take advantage of; until now. The lower burden of “preponderance of the evidence” is the traditional burden of proof in a Title IX investigation, which means that the school officials only need to prove that your actions slightly (51% to 49%) violated your institution’s policies.

The new changes will give students the benefit of the doubt and will force prosecutors to find proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Additionally, students will now be entitled to full discovery and will be provided with copies of all reports and witness statements.

Get the Help You Deserve

Now, you might be wondering what these changes could mean for your pending Title IX investigation.

These changes will reform the way your case is handled in many ways; some of the most common include:

  • You will have a much easier time fighting your charges and proving your innocence in court.
  • The attorney you choose will make or break your case outcome.
  • Attorneys now have much more leverage in the courtroom to prove their client’s innocence, meaning that working with an experienced Title IX defense attorney will give you a much better chance at successfully fighting your charges.

If you’ve been accused of sexual misconduct on university grounds, your chances of fighting your charges just got even higher. At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, our team of trusted Title IX defense attorneys has been helping students protect their futures and return to their best lives possible for countless years.

Don’t leave your future up to chance. Our team is here to help. Call us today to discuss your situation with our team over the phone (713) 597-2221.