• Christopher Shearouse

Academic Dishonesty Lawyer


Facing allegations of academic misconduct can affect your personal life, future career, and reputation. Every university and college has a student code of conduct to which students must conform throughout their academic careers. Students who are found to have violated the student code of conduct may be placed on academic probation, suspended from the institution, or dismissed. Students may also be expelled for violating the student code of conduct.



What is academic misconduct?

Academic misconduct is a broad term that includes many different acts. Following are the three most common types of academic misconduct:

  1. Plagiarism

  2. Fabrication

  3. Cheating

Every university and college enforces its student code of conduct. It can be difficult to understand every student code of conduct provision a university or college may enforce. Some students may think they understand what constitutes academic misconduct. However, universities and colleges may define academic misconduct in a variety of ways.


Referring to plagiarism as the first common type of academic misconduct leading students towards exhibiting academic dishonesty, it is defined as follows:


“Plagiarism generally means copying another individual’s thoughts or words without properly citing the source”.


Plagiarism may also include the following:


  • Copying several sources together and making them appear to be one unique document

  • Changing keywords or paraphrasing without providing adequate citations

  • Creating citations for non-existent sources

  • Using another individual’s work without properly the source

  • Recycling your academics and using them for the same or different classes


Referring to Cheating as the second most common source of academic honesty, it is defined as follows:


“Cheating often applies to one student helping another student cheat. Students may also face sanctions if they do not report instances of cheating among their classmates.”

Examples of cheating include the following:

  • Un-authorized collaboration

  • Hidden notes

  • Misuse of browsers

  • Sharing test answers

  • Sharing exam access codes

  • Online cheating

  • Attempting to influence a fellow student to engage in cheating

Finally, Fabrication is defined as follows:


“Fabrication is the un-authorized creation, alteration or reporting of information in an academic activity.”


The following are common examples of fabrication:


  • Creating inaccurate data that should come from experiments

  • Altering or falsifying information such as images, documents, and files

  • Omitting important information from presentations and reports

  • Creating fabricated sources of information

  • Using a person’s user ID and password in an unauthorized manner


Every case involving academic misconduct is unique, and the facts and circumstances often dictate how academic misconduct violations are resolved.


Students may commit plagiarism without intending to plagiarize, yet most student codes of conduct still view this unintentional behavior as plagiarism. Fabrication occurs most often in the sciences. Students who are majoring in one of the STEM fields may fabricate research findings or change experimental data from another study. Some universities and colleges also sanction students for placing a source in the resources or works cited list that was not used in the assignment.


Students may work together to commit academic misconduct. Two or more students who work together to engage in academic misconduct are colluding with one another. Collusion is a serious form of academic misconduct that can sometimes cause lengthy investigations.


Universities and colleges take instances of fabrication and falsification seriously. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students will report students who are suspected of fabricating or falsifying research data.


Students may also face academic misconduct allegations for borrowing a sheet of paper during an examination. Many students are alarmed when they realize they are being accused of academic misconduct.

Lectures, notes, and presentation prepared by professors, instructors, and graduate students may also be protected by intellectual property laws. Students who sell lectures, notes, or presentations may face allegations of misappropriating course-based intellectual property.



Academic misconduct violations

Academic misconduct violations are not uniform across the United States. Each university or college enforces its student code of conduct. However, many violations are common at the majority of universities and colleges in the United States. The following are some of the most common academic misconduct violations which majorly constitute student’s academic dishonesty:


  • Disturbing the classroom environment or laboratory environment

  • Creating an unfair disadvantage for yourself or other students

  • Forging a professor’s or instructor’s signature on an official university document

  • Submitting an altered or false transcript from another university, college, or secondary school

  • Theft of intellectual property

  • Obtaining access codes to online or in-person examinations

  • Presenting false information to a professor or university official

  • Helping other students obtain prohibited or inappropriate materials during examinations and other assignments

  • Cheating on an academic assignment


Most universities and colleges have extensive provisions regarding the types of academic misconduct they regulate. However, plagiarism is one of the most common forms of academic misconduct. Professors, instructors, and graduate students can use software programs to detect plagiarized material.



Consequences of academic misconduct

If a university or college finds that a student violated the student code of conduct, the following sanctions may be imposed:


  • Prevent award of degrees to students

  • Exclude students from campus housing

  • Restitution

  • Draft a letter of apology

  • Community service

  • Lost privileges

  • Exclude from university activities

  • Warning

  • Resolution Agreement

  • Admonition letter


It is important to retain an academic dishonesty lawyer if you are facing allegations of academic misconduct. Every university and college will have its student code of conduct. You may be facing unique sanctions for violations that you do not understand. A skilled and knowledgeable academic dishonesty lawyer can help you with every aspect of the academic misconduct investigation.


Academic misconduct sanctions can prevent you from gaining admission to graduate school and professional school. If you are accused of academic misconduct, you must do everything within your power to protect your character, reputation, and future career. Contact K Altman Law today at (888) 984-1341 to speak with an academic dishonesty lawyer.



Student’s bill of rights: What you should know

You are entitled to a hearing process during any academic misconduct investigation. Every university and college in the United States will outline its policies and procedures for handling academic misconduct investigations. Students are often entitled to have an advisor or attorney present during hearings and interviews. An academic dishonesty lawyer can help you understand what rights you have under your university’s or college’s student code of conduct.

Most universities and colleges conduct academic integrity hearings. These are not legal proceedings. A panel of students and faculty members will determine if a student violated the student code of conduct. The panel will also decide the specific sanction the student who violated the student code of conduct should receive. Retaining an academic dishonesty lawyer will help you understand the rights afforded to you by your university or college.


Every university or college will have a student bill of rights or another comparable document. The rights and freedoms guaranteed to students may be broader than those guaranteed by state constitutions and the United States Constitution.


Case Study: How K Altman Law Protects Student Rights Across United States



Why hire a lawyer for academic dishonesty?

An academic dishonesty lawyer can help you throughout every phase of an academic misconduct investigation. The team of academic dishonesty lawyers and students can help you in the following ways:

  1. Include or exclude specific items of evidence

  2. Draft opening statements, and draft closing statements.

  3. Draft emails for you

  4. Help you work with potential witnesses who can help your academic dishonesty case.

  5. Scrutinize the evidence brought forth by the university or college.

  6. Fight for lesser sanctions

  7. Reduce the effect of an academic dishonesty investigation



Nationwide academic dishonesty lawyer

The team of academic dishonesty lawyers and student advisors at K Altman Law advises students throughout the United States regarding academic misconduct investigations. We have years of experience working with students, universities, and parents. Call today at (888) 984-1341 to learn more about how you can defend yourself from academic misconduct investigations.



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