Attorneys At Work

15 Stony Brook Students Accused of Colluding to Cheat on a College Exam, But Weak Evidence Helps Clear Our Client

TonaLaw’s academic dishonesty defense attorneys recently rendered their services on behalf of a student of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. The student was accused of participating in colluding to cheat on an exam with other students. 

Attorneys At Work

Thanks in part to our preparation, the student was able to convince the Academic Judiciary Committee that the charges against them lacked the evidentiary weight described by the school’s policies. Mid-hearing, a Committee representative moved to dismiss the charges, and the Committee assented.

15 students in total were accused of cheating on the same college exam by the same professor. While 13 other students admitted to cheating, our client and another student were the only parties cleared of all academic integrity violations.

How TonaLaw Helped a Student Prepare for Their Academic Integrity Violation Hearing

School policies are another form of contract law. When students attend a college or university, they agree to follow the policies — and accept certain forms of punishment if they are found in violation of them.

Another important role of school policies is that they establish students’ rights. As such, Stony Brook University, like many other higher-education institutions, will first hold a hearing before deciding on whether they can establish a finding of academic dishonesty. Students are allowed to hear the evidence and accusations against them, present their own position, submit any relevant evidence, and argue for their innocence.

Our client retained us soon after they had first heard of the charges and made their initial response. We reviewed the student’s entire academic file, which included the student’s prehearing statement disputing all charges. This put the student on firm footing to present a case for being not guilty. 

A TonaLaw academic dishonesty lawyer assisted the client in writing the hearing position statement to be read at the hearing. As further preparation, we counseled the client on the testimony to be given at the hearing as well as how to address questioning from the committee.

One critical step in any case like this is to review the language of the school’s own policies, guidelines, bylaws, etc. Stony Brook’s Academic Integrity Policy contains rules of evidence that we felt were highly pertinent to this college cheating investigation.

A Confident Client Sways All Concerns of College Cheating During Their Academic Integrity Violation Hearing

A TonaLaw academic dishonesty attorney was in attendance during the Stony Brook student’s hearing. The client was confident, assured, and had the knowledge they needed to present their position and effectively argue their case.

During the hearing, it was argued that under the University’s own code of conduct, the professor alleging the infraction could not prove the case by clear and convincing evidence. TonaLaw was lead counsel, and upon presentation of the case, a representative of the University moved to drop the charges mid hearing.  

As a result, not only was the TonaLaw client cleared of all charges but so was the companion case that was also represented by separate counsel.

TonaLaw Helps Students Beat Cheating Accusations and Academic Dishonesty Charges

College is more than just a right of passage. For young students, it is a vital step in their transition to the professional world. For older students, it is a critical opportunity to advance their professional standing. 

A single accusation of college cheating can derail these intentions. Students who have academic dishonesty findings on their record can have their chances at grad school or a high-earning job taken away. Protecting your record from disclosures can be difficult — and, in some circumstances, impossible.

That is why we at TonaLaw aim to provide the highest quality legal representation when guiding students who are in the midst of an academic dishonesty investigation. We can inform them of their rights, build a case based on the language of school policies, and prepare the student for their judiciary hearings.

If you or a child of yours is currently facing academic dishonesty accusations, don’t take them lightly. Speak to experienced attorneys familiar with the policy and who have successfully cleared other students in the past.

Call TonaLaw today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review and to discuss your student rights.

Click To Download Academic Dishonesty Ebook

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