Academic misconduct, integrity, dishonesty, and honor code violation, colleges and universities in Maine use different terms for allegations involving a student's academics, but regardless of the term used, academic misconduct charges are serious with significant potential consequences. If found responsible, an appeal maybe the last opportunity to resolve the case.
Students and parents may not realize that professional help is needed as early as possible in the disciplinary process. Students and parents are often poorly informed by the school as to how to best address such accusations and it is only after a finding of responsibility that they realize an attorney advisor's help is needed. If found responsible, the situation can potentially still be rectified, especially if you have the right to appeal. Colleges and universities in Maine often allow similar grounds for an appeal, but your school's appeal process must be closely followed.
Common appeal grounds include procedural error or defect, for example, did the school follow the necessary steps in the code of conduct process? Was the student properly notified of the charges? Were there other due process issues? These are common issues which can lead to an unfair outcome, disproportionate or excessive sanction. For example, will the sanction be on the student's academic transcripts or disciplinary records, thereby affecting graduate school admissions? Can it be asserted that the sanction is excessive in light of the circumstances of the case or the student's goals? Was the student suspended or expelled?
These sanctions are fundamentally severe and may not be appropriate to the case. New evidence, for example, did the school basis finding upon unfair information presented by the professor? Did the school rely on flawed reports, such as a plagiarism checker, or reports involving online cheating? Can new information be presented which provides an alternative explanation for the alleged misconduct?
Some schools will decide and appeal based on the written appeal and others will convene a hearing. Appeal deadlines are often short and immediate action must be taken. An experienced attorney advisor will help you present the strongest possible appeal, and they should be involved as soon as possible.
Maine colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's academic misconduct advisor during the appeals process, in addition to during investigations and hearings, include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Bates College
- Bowdoin College
- Central Maine Community College
- Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions
- Colby College
- College of the Atlantic
- Eastern Maine Community College
- Husson University
- Kaplan University Maine Campus
- Kennebec Valley Community College
- Landing School of Boat Building and Design
- Maine College of Art
- Maine Maritime Academy
- New England School of Communications
- Northern Maine Community College
- Saint Joseph's College of Maine
- Southern Maine Community College
- Thomas College
- Unity College
- University of Maine
- University of Maine at Augusta
- University of Maine at Farmington
- University of Maine at Fort Kent
- University of Maine at Machias
- University of Maine at Presque Isle
- University of New England
- University of Southern Maine
- Washington County Community College
- York County Community College
If you're a student or the parent of a student at a school in Maine, you must understand that academic misconduct allegations are serious.
Whatever term your college or university uses – academic misconduct, integrity, dishonesty, an honor code violation – you must respond to the allegations carefully and defend as best as possible, preferably as early as possible in the college disciplinary process.
Whether you did nothing wrong or instead had a lapse of judgement and made a poor decision, the potential consequences both in the short and long-term can be significant and severe. Present academic standing, scholarships, extracurricular activities, internships, graduate and professional school candidacy, and professional employment opportunities can all be diminished or altogether lost if an academic case is not successfully resolved.
If, however, you made the mistake of trying to defend against the charges on your own or with someone not suited to the task, all is not lost – especially if you can appeal the decision, finding of responsibility, and/or sanctions. If this was the case, now is the opportunity to take the necessary action and attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help. The Lento Law Firm has unparalleled experience with academic misconduct cases and they have helped thousands of students across the country facing similar issues.
Joseph Lento fights nationwide on behalf of his clients and he never throws in the towel. He is a licensed attorney in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as an advisor for students and families seeking to appeal academic misconduct cases in Maine and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected at any stage of the university disciplinary process - Contact National Academic Misconduct Advisor Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.