Academic Dishonesty

Home of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook and many other prestigious higher education institutions, Long Island’s Suffolk County draws tens of thousands of students from all across the globe each year. Students who attend our local colleges and universities are afforded tremendous opportunities, but the state of their future often hangs in the balance. If they work hard and succeed, they are supposed to be rewarded, but even a single accusation of college cheating can jeopardize this promise.

College Student In LibraryIf a student is accused of academic dishonesty in the midst of their program, they risk not being able to graduate on time and not being able to secure acceptance to their preferred post-graduate institution. Even more concerning, many employers are now requesting access to applicants’ student records, meaning that an academic integrity violation could prevent someone from getting the job they always dreamed of.

The good news is that you, as a student, have rights. Your school is required to spell out in writing the grounds for pursuing an academic integrity violation charge, the consequences of a positive finding, the standards of evidence needed to prove such a charge, and the student’s rights during the judiciary process.

A Suffolk County academic dishonesty lawyer from TonaLaw can help you research your student rights and prepare a defense against academic dishonesty charges. We have successfully helped Stony Brook University students defend against unfounded college cheating accusations, and we can help you. Call us today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

More People Have Access to Your Academic Record Than You Might Think

Many students get intimidated when they are charged with a violation of their school’s ethics policies. They may think that going along with an investigation and confessing any and all wrongdoing is the best strategy to take. In truth, your accusers may lack the standing or the evidence to prove their charges, and your school judiciary may be misinterpreting the school’s own policies. 

By consenting to an academic dishonesty finding, you are waiving your right to defend yourself against charges, according to the letter of your school’s bylaws, policies, and ethics guidelines. What’s more, you are giving the school permission to put a negative mark on your academic record that can tarnish your reputation forever.

Laws like the Federal Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 protect students from being forced to disclose their academic records in many instances. However, any time a student is transferring or a law enforcement agency wants to see records that may be relevant to an investigation, your school is required to disclose all records. 

Furthermore, most post-graduate schools and many top-level employers are now making academic records releases a standard part of the application process. Refusing to disclose your records in full can make you ineligible for consideration for a medical school, law school, grad school, and even many professional careers. Law enforcement agencies are especially interested in a student’s ethical history, meaning that a single academic dishonesty finding can jeopardize your intended career path.

While you may hope that a school or employer won’t ask for your records, there’s always the risk that they will. In that light, it’s better to be proactive to prevent a finding from occurring in the first place. You can work with a student judiciary defense lawyer in Suffolk County to prepare yourself for your hearing, scrutinize the evidence being used against you, and defend against your charges using all rights afforded to you by school policy as well as state and federal laws.

TonaLaw Helped a Stony Brook Student Keep Their Academic Career on Track

TonaLaw is a trusted, well-established law firm based in Islip, Suffolk County. Our experience with litigation and policy has prepared us for situations where internal disputes occur, including disputes related to student conduct at a higher learning institution.

In one recent case, a student at Stony Brook University hired us to represent them after they were accused of college cheating. A professor charged the student with colluding to cheat on an exam.

A TonaLaw academic dishonesty attorney reviewed the student’s entire academic record, including their pre-hearing statement that disputed all charges. We helped the student prepare a compelling opening statement on their position within the matter and also prepared them for questioning by the committee. Furthermore, we reviewed the school’s code of conduct and policies regarding the rules of evidence.

With this preparation, the student went into their hearing confidently and assertively. The client also had their attorney in attendance during the virtual Academic Judiciary Hearing to provide them with counsel as needed. Through our guidance, the student was able to convincingly establish that the professor alleging the infraction could not prove the case using clear and convincing evidence. 

Once the student’s case was presented in full, a representative of the University moved to dismiss all charges mid-hearing. The student was cleared, allowing them to graduate on time and apply to the graduate programs of their choice without delay.

All TonaLaw Academic Dishonesty case studies:

Defending Suffolk County Higher Education Students From Academic Dishonesty Accusations

Suffolk County is large and well-known for its outstanding academic institutions. Schools like SUNY Stony Brook and Briarcliffe College draw thousands of local, out-of-state, and international students every semester. Their extensive campuses and laudable programs helped train generations of new doctors, lawyers, engineers, researchers, and other career professionals.

Top Schools in Suffolk County

  • Briarcliffe College
  • Briarcliffe College Patchogue
  • Dowling College
  • Farmingdale State College
  • Five Towns College
  • Katharine Gibbs School Melville
  • St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn/Patchogue, New York)
  • Stony Brook Southampton
  • Stony Brook University
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • Touro College
  • Touro College and University System

Work With a Compassionate Student Advocate Lawyer Who Wants You to Succeed

Our future prospects are precious, and just one adverse event can impact them. Students who are accused of an academic integrity violation should be willing to examine their charges in full and defend themselves to the highest extent allowed by their school’s policies. If a student thinks their state or federal legal rights are being violated, it’s possible for the student to go outside of the school’s judiciary process and pursue litigation.

At TonaLaw, we take academic misconduct accusations very seriously. We know that many students go into hearings and investigations unprepared and unaware of their rights. We want to change that, so our clients are given the information and legal strategies they need to maturely and confidently address their academic dishonesty charges head-on.

If you are facing disciplinary action or are being called to a judiciary hearing in regard to academic dishonesty, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced counsel with the ability to help you research and prepare your case. Call TonaLaw today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a lawyer in Suffolk County near you.

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