Academic misconduct, integrity, dishonesty, and honor code violation. Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island use different terms for allegations involving a student's academics. Regardless of the term used, academic misconduct charges are serious, with significant potential consequences. If found responsible, an appeal may be 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 case can potentially still be rectified, especially if you have a right to appeal. Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island often have similar allowable grounds for an appeal, but your school's appeal process must be closely followed. Common appeal grounds can include procedural error or defect. For example, did the school follow the necessary steps in the code of conduct process? Was a 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 a 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 and the student's goals? Was the student suspended or expelled? Such sanctions are fundamentally severe and may not be appropriate to the case. New evidence, for example, did the school base its finding on 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 that would provide an alternative explanation for the alleged misconduct? Some schools decide the 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 present the strongest possible appeal and they should be involved as soon as possible.
Rhode Island 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:
- Brown University
- Bryant University
- Community College of Rhode Island
- Johnson & Wales University – Providence
- Naval War College (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- New England Institute of Technology
- Providence College
- Rhode Island College
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Roger Williams University
- Salve Regina University
- University of Rhode Island
If you're a student or the parent of a student at a school in Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island 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 Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.