Academic Misconduct – Cheating

Every student entering college has a basic understanding of academic integrity and the concept of fair advantage. College administrations develop strict policies to discourage academic misconduct in general, and cheating is a common issue that they regularly address. The student on the receiving end of the allegations rarely receives the benefit of the doubt, and years of hard work vanish due to an erroneous charge.

Whether through an online course or while on college premises, cheating accusations lead to negative repercussions for students and their families. If a panel's investigation leads to a guilty charge, students risk losing their credits or even their place in college.

Facing a cheating charge is a stressful ordeal, and panels make examples of some students to discourage others from performing similar activities. Although it is common occurrence and, sometimes, a mistaken assumption, being on the receiving end of the accusations is one of the most challenging situations students face.

What Constitutes as Cheating?

Although every college has a unique definition of cheating, it is a universally-understood action that's unacceptable in any academic setting. Cheating is when a student uses dishonest means to gain an academic advantage over peers. Cheating is not just when students take test answers from others – the definition now encompasses several actions that denote academic misconduct and fraud.


Plagiarism is when a student knowingly or unknowingly uses information from another source without providing citations. Students must run their essays through software programs that detect plagiarism and pinpoint the sources to the professor.

Copying Exam Answers

Copying exam answers is one of the most common forms of academic misconduct. While this action may happen without the other student's knowledge or consent, some peers collaborate and exchange answers.

Using Unauthorized Devices During an Exam

Many professors do not allow students to use electronic devices during an exam or access the internet. Students still find ways to use them or access the web, sneaking devices into exams without the examiner's knowledge.

Distance Learning Cheating

Distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic creates opportunities for students to cheat, such as having family members take exams or using another device to search for answers. There is an increasing level of paranoia around distance learning and cheating, creating challenges for students and educators.

Storing Answers on Electronic Devices

Some students keep the answers to tests or quizzes on devices such as calculators and smartphones. During an exam, they pull out the information and use it while their peers must remember the data.

Paying Others to Write Essays

Since numerous essay-writing companies exist, some students use these services and submit the work as their own.

Paying Others to Take Online Courses

Some students pay others to take their online courses for them. While this is not possible when video cameras are open, classes that do not require verifying one's presence make it easier for some to cheat.

Collaborating with Others to Cheat

Some students create networks within their colleges that facilitate cheating. These students save exams to sell other students, and some even collaborate with administrative staff or professors.

Depending on the gravity of the cheating charge, students usually receive proportionate punishments. In some cases, the allegation is false or not as grave as the administration claims. Still, the student does not have the right strategy to defend against them.

If you face a cheating charge, you don't have to weather the ordeal or the college panel alone. With years of experience helping students successfully overcome academic misconduct charges, Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento helps you fight for your rights.

Academic Stance on Cheating

College administrations have a comprehensive approach to tackling cheating that starts from inside the classroom. College professors have the authority to determine that a student is cheating in their class since it ties to the course material and objectives. Depending on the action and number of offenses, the professor may escalate the matter to an administrative committee or board.

The committee reviews the evidence and the student's statement. In light of the information it receives and the student's defense strategy, it makes a decision. The board then enforces penalties based on its misconduct policy, ranging from re-taking a test to expulsion from the college.

What if I Did Not Cheat?

Although college administrations and professors try to be fair in most cases, some students receive a cheating charge despite their innocence. If you face this ordeal, do not assume that your integrity will get you through the allegations.

Even victims need a strong defense strategy and evidence that backs up their claims. If you face expulsion or the loss of credits, consider hiring an attorney to decrease the likelihood of a false accusation charge obstructing your academic path.

Should I Hire an Attorney?

Hiring an attorney gives you peace of mind when confronting allegations of academic misconduct. Even if you did not cheat, your chances of success increase when you have an authoritative and knowledgeable legal ally defending your case.

Along with your attorney, you can come up with a strategy that addresses the allegations against you. By backing your defense with relevant evidence and witness claims, you can fight the charges against you and continue your education without issues.

Why Contact the Lento Law Firm?

The best defense strategy comes from a legal ally with the experience and determination to tackle even the most challenging cheating allegations. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are by your side when you face academic misconduct charges that can ruin your graduation prospects. Using his comprehensive knowledge of the law and powerful negotiation strategies, attorney-advisor Lento seamlessly works with any administrative board, no matter how intimidating.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, you deserve dedicated representation to work towards a fair process and a favorable outcome and to know what to expect when you face a cheating charge. With attorney Lento by your side, you will have more confidence facing your professor, school administrators including those from the Conduct Office, and potentially a hearing panel, and ultimately, you will have a higher chance of success. From what to mention to those involved including the board to the evidence you produce, every detail counts when your academic integrity is at risk.

Don't let an academic misconduct charge ruin your future. Call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535 - 3686 to discuss your approach to the allegations and what steps to take.

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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