Most colleges in the United States consider academic misconduct a violation of their Code of Conduct. If the institution is alleging you against any misconduct, you need to take the help of a lawyer for academic misconduct.
What comes under academic misconduct?
Any dishonest act that helps a student gain an unfair advantage is called academic misconduct. For example, cheating in exams, plagiarising content for assignments, forging the signature of a professor, etc are common forms of misconduct.
What are the reasons for it?
Most students take dishonest means to pass an exam when they slack off during the initial part of the semester. When students are in college, they face a lot of distractions and give in to partying, alcoholism, etc. It will take their focus away from their studies. Thus, they often have no other option but to cheat in exams or plagiarize assignments to pass the semester.
What happens if you have academic misconduct allegations?
The school will inform you about the allegation and ask you to accept or deny it. They may investigate the case by enquiring about you to professors and classmates.
Once the investigation is over, there will be a disciplinary hearing to defend your stand. The board present at the hearing will consist of faculty, non-faculty staff, and a student representative.
You can represent yourself or take the help of an attorney. Since an academic misconduct disciplinary hearing is not the same as a trial where the accused will have more legal rights, it is better that you hire an attorney to defend your case.
What can an attorney do for you?
If you hire an attorney immediately after you become aware of an allegation against you, the attorney will help you strategize a fault-proof defense plan.
For this, the lawyer may ask you to remember even minor details of the incident where you got caught for misconduct. This step is crucial as it can help the attorney find a loophole to let you off the misconduct allegation.
You have to give your best shot at coming out of academic misconduct because its consequences will be otherwise severe. You even run the chance of getting a black mark in your academic record which could hamper your future career.
If you are a college student, try to avoid dishonest means to get through the course. However, if you have already made such a mistake, your next best step is to contact an experienced lawyer to get through the misconduct proceeding!