I have been accused of plagiarism even though it was an accident. How can I prove my case and avoid being punished?

If you were accused of plagiarism and if it was an accident, it depends on how it was an accident. Was it because the professor gave unclear instructions or was it because you, say, failed to properly cite the references? Was it because there was a misunderstanding between the professor's expectations and what you were supposed to do on the assignment? It really depends on how was it an accident. Many schools will not necessarily distinguish between intentional and unintentional plagiarism. That's another consideration. Some schools will have a policy that a student would not be, say, culpable for unintentional plagiarism, although that's generally the exception and not the rule. It really depends on what the accident would be that led to the allegation of plagiarism. Being accused of plagiarism at any level of higher education, be it college, a master's program, a Ph.D. program, is incredibly serious. It can have tremendous short and long-term consequences.

Having an experienced academic misconduct attorney advisor will be your best ally in helping to understand and navigate the process. They should be involved as early as possible in an academic misconduct case.

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.