Academic Offenses on DC College Campuses

Even if it is not a criminal charge, an academic offense can have a major impact on your life and result in such punishments as suspension or expulsion.

For this reason, it is imperative you consult with a DC student defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Impact of An Academic Offense

Even though academic offenses, including offenses that involve allegations of dishonesty, may not result in someone being charged with a crime, they can still result in severe disciplinary sanctions.

These allegations can include providing false information to the university, forgery, unauthorized use of university documents and academic dishonesty like plagiarism, or cheating on exams. They cut to the heart of the academic process, so universities treat them with utmost seriousness.

Who Is Involved in Academic Offenses

Any allegations of violations of student code of conduct are brought by the university’s student judicial board. They can have different names in different universities, but they are usually brought forward by the university’s office of student conduct. The office of student conduct will usually have an associate dean heading the office and a number of faculty members proceeding with the investigation and filing allegations of code violations.

After a student receives a notice of a student code violation, the allegations will be brought to a hearing. The type of hearing that a student will have depends on the university. Some universities give a student the option of having a hearing before a single faculty member and other universities require all student conduct violation hearings to be presided over by a combination of students and faculty members.

Most Common Types of Academic Charges

Some of the most common allegations of academic violations include falsification or altering of university documents, plagiarism, cheating and providing false information to the university, university personnel and university police.

Most universities have a code of academic integrity or honor code that covers how it specifically deals with allegations of academic dishonesty or academic violations; they are not necessarily treated the same way as other violations.

As an example, Georgetown University has a University Honor Council that deals with issues of academic integrity. Other universities have different honor codes that deal specifically with student integrity that may not be handled in the same way as allegations of sexual violations or drug possession.

How a Student Defense Lawyer Can Help

A student defense attorney can help a student to respond to the allegations of academic dishonesty or academic violations as well as to understand the specific requirements of that student’s university’s honor code.

An experienced DC student attorney can also help to advocate on the student’s behalf and help him or her provide the kind of information that can convince the university to minimize any possible sanctions or recognize that the allegations were possibly improperly brought about in the first place.