Colleges in Utah take their reputation as academic institutions very seriously. Maintaining this reputation requires vigorous enforcement of a school's code of academic conduct. Because the rules in these codes are rarely well defined, though, many innocent students in Utah are accused of academic misconduct when they really did nothing wrong.
Showing that you are innocent can be difficult, though. Appointing a lawyer to be your advisor during this process can be the best way to show that these accusations are false and protect your rights and your future.
Academic Misconduct in Utah
While each university in Utah has its own rules of academic conduct, they tend to be encapsulated in the student handbook that the school hosts online. Further, those rules tend to categorize academic misconduct under the following broad labels:
- Plagiarism. Part of maintaining a school's academic reputation involves ensuring that students get credit for their own work, and no one else's. Claiming credit for someone else's ideas – whether that someone else is a scholar or another student – can run afoul of your school's code of academic conduct and constitute plagiarism, even if it is done by accident.
- Cheating. Using prohibited materials during an exam, or having someone else take the test in your place, can constitute cheating and violate your school's code of academic conduct.
- Complicity in misconduct. Not all claims of academic misconduct concern actions that you actually benefitted from: You can be accused of academic misconduct even if you did nothing but fail to report someone else's misconduct, or if you helped to cover it up.
- Resource distribution or destruction. Academic misconduct is not confined to graded assignments in most schools. You can be accused of academic misconduct if you destroyed or distributed academic resources like library books or upcoming tests.
- Altering official forms. Perhaps the most egregious type of academic misconduct in Utah is the alteration of official school forms, like transcripts. Changing documents like this by, for example, altering the grade you received in a prior class, can lead to serious accusations of misconduct.
Unfortunately, the definitions of these deeds of misconduct are often vague. Innocent students who have done nothing wrong, or who made a simple mistake, can find themselves being accused of serious violations.
Consequences of a Finding of Academic Misconduct
If you are found to have violated your school's code of academic conduct, you can face a wide variety of penalties. The most severe consequence you can face is expulsion, while the least severe is often just a written warning. However, these warnings can blemish your academic record, which can make it more difficult to get the job you want if the applicant pool is especially competitive.
Joseph D. Lento: Utah's Academic Misconduct Advisor
If you have been accused of academic misconduct in the state of Utah, you can use the help of student discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 to appoint him as your advisor for this difficult and crucially important process if you want to protect your rights and your future.
Utah colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's academic misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- AmeriTech College Draper
- Argosy University Salt Lake City
- Brigham Young University Provo
- Broadview Entertainment Arts University
- Broadview University Layton
- Broadview University Orem
- Broadview University West Jordan
- DeVry University Utah
- Dixie State College of Utah
- Eagle Gate College Layton
- Eagle Gate College Murray
- Eagle Gate College Salt Lake City
- Fortis College Salt Lake City
- Independence University
- ITT Technical Institute Murray
- Latter day Saints Business College
- Neumont University
- Provo College American Fork
- Provo College Provo
- Salt Lake Community College
- Snow College
- Southern Utah University
- Stevens Henager College of Business Provo
- Stevens Henager College Logan
- Stevens Henager College Murray
- Stevens Henager College Ogden
- The Art Institute of Salt Lake City
- University of Phoenix Utah Campus
- University of Utah
- Utah State University
- Utah State University College of Eastern Utah
- Utah Valley University
- Weber State University
- Westminster College
It is an unfortunate reality that academic misconduct charges can upend an accused student's life if not properly addressed, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing disciplinary cases in Utah and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Academic Advisor Joseph D. Lento today.