Cheating on college campuses is a widespread practice, and believe it or not, the majority of students think cheating is OK — until they get caught. But if you’re caught and found responsible of cheating on a college campus, the consequences can be far-reaching.
In our technology-driven world, colleges that accuse students of cheating on exams or other relevant tasks may claim that you used an electronic source you shouldn’t have when completing your test or other assignment.
The most common forms of college cheating are plagiarizing work from another source via the internet and using information from a smartphone to cheat during class.
This means that any college or university accusing a student of cheating — whether it’s using Wikipedia, a teacher’s notes stored online or other prohibited sites — should have the IT proof to back it up.
Students accused of cheating on college campuses should hire a student defense attorney – in particular, one who understands that a cheating case will look more like a computer crimes defense than a college code of conduct infraction.
But before you hire an attorney, be sure to follow these steps to set yourself up for success:
- Read the accusations against you carefully — more than once — and talk to your parents or other guardians in your life who can give you good advice and possibly help you pay for an attorney.
- Do not speak about the accusations against you to any other students on campus, even if they are your friends.
- Do not try to defend yourself to the professor who’s accusing you — or anyone else on campus — before you’ve spoken to your attorney.
What are the consequences for cheating in college?
Punishment for cheating on college campuses will vary: it all depends on your university’s code of conduct. Your punishment could include one or all of the following, if you’re found guilty:
- Verbal reprimand
- Written reprimand
- Failing grade for the class or assignment in which you were caught cheating
What attorneys look for in college cheating cases
An experienced college defense attorney will be looking for the following in an effort to disprove the college’s accusations:
- Internet records from the school showing when you were and were not logged on to the internet, as well as internet search records showing what you were viewing while logged on.
- Internet records from the student showing when you accessed the internet off campus and what you were searching for when you did.
- Records from college-run student resource sites, like Blackboard.
As you can see, cheating on college campuses is a serious allegation. Shanlon Wu is an experienced defense attorney who specializes in advocating for college students. If you’ve been accused of cheating on campus, contact DC Student Defense today.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.