High School Academic Misconduct Attorney Advisor - Virginia

Has your child been accused of academic misconduct? You're not alone. Academic misconduct is a widespread issue that affects high schools across the nation. A survey of over 70,000 high school students revealed just how prevalent academic misconduct is: 95 percent admitted to some form of cheating, 64 percent of students admitted to cheating on a test, and 58 percent admitted to plagiarism.

Virginia schools take academic misconduct allegations very seriously. Students charged with misconduct face harsh consequences that not only affect them now, but also have a significant impact on their future. Don't lose hope if your child's school accuses them of academic misconduct. There are a few steps you can take to fight back and protect your child from these allegations. Here's what you need to know.

What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic misconduct is a broad term that refers to any action that creates an unfair advantage for students. Students may be guilty of academic misconduct if they break student guidelines or codes of conduct set forth by their school. Although the school sets forth policies prohibiting specific behaviors, some acts are largely considered to be academic misconduct across the Commonwealth of Virginia. They include:

  • Cheating: failing to comply with rules on assignments or exams
  • Plagiarism: copying somebody else's work and claiming it as your own
  • Self-Plagiarism: using the same ideas, words, or material for multiple assignments without permission
  • Unauthorized collaboration: working on assignments or exams with others without permission
  • Bribery: offering or giving favors in exchange for an academic benefit
  • Disrupting a classroom: disturbing or interfering with the learning process
  • Dishonesty: misrepresenting the truth, such as falsifying data, forging documents, and lying to be excused from coursework

How Virginia Handles Academic Misconduct Violations

Academic misconduct is treated differently from district to district. The high school typically sets forth its own policies and procedures for handling academic misconduct violations. The investigation process also differs based on the severity of the offense, prior violations, and the facts of the case.

Virginia schools typically wait to gather the evidence before deciding on how to handle academic misconduct allegations. For example, Fairfax County Public Schools have a rights and responsibilities policy that establishes protocols for students and teachers. Under its honor code, Fairfax County prohibits students from violating the “spirit or the letter of the law” through cheating and plagiarism. Students caught breaking this policy face the following sanctions:

  • A conference between the student, an administrator, and a parent or guardian
  • A lowering of the grade or a failing grade for the assignment
  • Retaking a test
  • Recompleting the assignment
  • Completing an alternate assignment

Virginia Beach City Public Schools have a similar policy for academic misconduct. Students who cheat or plagiarize also face penalties established in the school board’s code of ethics. These include:

  • Failing grade on work that fails to cite sources, uses unauthorized sources or uses unauthorized assistance from other students
  • Failing grade on a plagiarized assignment
  • Parent/legal guardian-student-administrator conference for cheating or plagiarism
  • Possible disciplinary action outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and Discipline Guidelines

Discipline for Academic Misconduct

You should not take academic misconduct allegations lightly. Even seemingly minor academic misconduct infractions can have immediate and long-term ramifications for students. Common penalties for academic misconduct include failed assignments and failed course grades. Failing grades can have many additional consequences. Your child may have to retake courses, attend summer school, or lose access to extracurricular clubs or sports teams.

Academic misconduct determinations may also go on your child's student record. As a result, they may put their future in jeopardy. Your child may face barriers accessing higher education, obtaining scholarships, or receiving academic honors. Depending on the circumstance, academic misconduct can even lead to suspension or expulsion.

The Virginia Beach City Public Schools Code of Conduct includes different disciplinary action levels for violations of school rules. Disciplinary actions include verbal warnings, conferences, intervention, suspensions of 1 to 10+ days, and expulsions.

Interventions include a referral to a school counselor, psychologist, or social worker, or other. Staff may also:

  • Remove students from class
  • Hold a meeting to make recommendations for improvement
  • Create a behavioral contract
  • Restrict student's rights to participate in activities
  • Confiscate personal property
  • Require afternoon or Saturday school
  • Create a probation agreement
  • Hold mediation
  • Send a letter or progress report to a parent/guardian
  • Remove bus privileges
  • Require community service

The Code of Conduct also ensures students receive due process following detention, suspension, or expulsion. The school may provide the student with a written notice, an opportunity to refute the charges, and the parent or guardian the right to appeal the decision.

How a High School Academic Misconduct Advisor Can Help

Some parents choose to respond to academic misconduct allegations on their own. In spite of their best intentions, they do not have the expertise or knowledge necessary to achieve a favorable outcome. If your child faces an academic misconduct allegation, it's crucial to seek out an expert advisor. An experienced attorney can help you review evidence, prepare for meetings, and push back against infringement of your child's rights.

Academic misconduct may not be illegal, but it can have serious consequences for your child. An attorney can review the school's code of conduct to defend your student and reduce the punishment. Although some schools do not allow lawyers to attend disciplinary hearings, a misconduct attorney can prepare you to best refute the charges. They can also take steps to appeal the school's initial decision.

Academic misconduct is a serious charge. With such high stakes, it's crucial to enlist the services of an expert. An attorney-advisor knows how to challenge baseless accusations and ensure your child receives due process no matter the circumstance.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has a track record of success in handling all kinds of academic misconduct cases. His unparalleled knowledge and expertise can help you fight aggressively for your child. Don't let academic misconduct threaten your child's future. Contact the Lento Law Firm to defend your child and their rights. Call us at 888-555-3686 to schedule a consultation today.

Virginia high schools where Joseph D. Lento can help as your child's student's academic misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following school districts:


  • Accomack Public Schools
  • Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Alleghany Public Schools
  • Amelia Public Schools
  • Amherst Public Schools
  • Appomattox Public Schools
  • Arlington Public Schools
  • Augusta County Public Schools


  • Bath Public Schools
  • Bedford County Public Schools
  • Bland Public Schools
  • Botetourt Public Schools
  • Bristol Public Schools
  • Brunswick Public Schools
  • Buchanan Public Schools
  • Buckingham Public Schools
  • Buena Vista Public Schools


  • Campbell Public Schools
  • Caroline Public Schools
  • Carroll Public Schools
  • Charles City Public Schools
  • Charlotte County Public Schools
  • Charlottesville Public Schools
  • Chesapeake Public Schools
  • Chesterfield County Public Schools
  • Clarke Public Schools
  • Colonial Beach Public Schools
  • Colonial Heights Public Schools
  • Covington Public Schools
  • Craig Public Schools
  • Culpeper Public Schools
  • Cumberland Public Schools


  • Danville Public Schools
  • Dickenson County Public Schools
  • Dinwiddie Public Schools


  • Essex Public Schools


  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Falls Church City Public Schools
  • Fauquier County Public Schools
  • Floyd Public Schools
  • Fluvanna Public Schools
  • Franklin City Public Schools
  • Franklin County Public Schools
  • Frederick County Public Schools
  • Fredericksburg Public Schools


  • Galax Public Schools
  • Giles Public Schools
  • Gloucester Public Schools
  • Goochland Public Schools
  • Grayson Public Schools
  • Greene Public Schools
  • Greensville Public Schools


  • Halifax Public Schools
  • Hampton City Schools
  • Hanover County Public Schools
  • Harrisonburg Public Schools
  • Henrico County Public Schools
  • Highland Public Schools
  • Hopewell Public Schools


  • Isle of Wight Public Schools


  • King and Queen Public Schools
  • King George Public Schools
  • King William Public Schools


  • Lancaster Public Schools
  • Lee Public Schools
  • Lexington Public Schools
  • Loudoun County Public Schools
  • Louisa Public Schools
  • Lunenburg Public Schools
  • Lynchburg City Public Schools


  • Madison Public Schools
  • Manassas City Public Schools
  • Manassas Park Public Schools
  • Martinsville Public Schools
  • Mathews Public Schools
  • Mecklenburg Public Schools
  • Middlesex Public Schools
  • Montgomery Public Schools


  • Nelson Public Schools
  • New Kent Public Schools
  • Newport News Public Schools
  • Norfolk Public Schools
  • Northampton County Public Schools
  • Northumberland County Public Schools
  • Norton City Schools
  • Nottoway County Public Schools


  • Orange County Public Schools


  • Page County Public Schools
  • Patrick County Public Schools
  • Petersburg Public Schools
  • Pittsylvania County Public Schools
  • Poquoson City Public Schools
  • Portsmouth Public Schools
  • Powhatan County Public Schools
  • Prince Edward County Public Schools
  • Prince George County Public Schools
  • Prince William County Public Schools
  • Pulaski County Public Schools


  • Radford City Schools
  • Rappahannock County Public Schools
  • Richmond County Public Schools
  • Richmond Public Schools
  • Roanoke City Public Schools
  • Roanoke County Public Schools
  • Rockbridge County Public Schools
  • Rockingham County Public Schools
  • Russell County Public Schools


  • Salem City Schools
  • Scott County Public Schools
  • Shenandoah County Public Schools
  • Smyth County Public Schools
  • Southampton County Public Schools  
  • Spotsylvania County Public Schools
  • Stafford County Public Schools
  • Staunton City Public Schools
  • Suffolk Public Schools
  • Surry County Public Schools   
  • Sussex County Public Schools


  • Tazewell County Public Schools


  • Virginia Beach City Public Schools
  • Virginia School for the Deaf, Blind and Multi-disabled at Hampton
  • Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind


  • Warren County Public Schools               
  • Washington County Public Schools
  • Waynesboro Public Schools
  • West Point Public Schools       
  • Westmoreland County Public Schools
  • Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools
  • Winchester Public Schools
  • Wise County Public Schools
  • Wythe County Public Schools


  • York County School Division

It is critical to make certain academic misconduct charges at your child's Virginia high school are handled properly and that the accused student's interests and rights are protected from as early as possible during the investigative and disciplinary process.  One reason, among many, is because even at high schools where a finding of responsibility for academic misconduct is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at high schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused student is found responsible or not responsible for academic misconduct.

Unfortunately, some parents make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when their child is accused of academic misconduct.  Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth.  In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, being called to answer for alleged academic misconduct would not exist.

Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at schools throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused high school student's academic future is on the line. 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, New Jersey, 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 academic misconduct advisor to high school students facing investigations and disciplinary cases in Virginia and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National High School Academic Misconduct Defense Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.

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 the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.