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You’re Not Smart: Consequences of Cheating With Your Smartphone

By July 4, 2022September 25th, 2023No Comments

Smartphones have become ubiquitous in society. You take your phone with you everywhere you go. Between texting and Google Maps, you could hardly make plans with friends, and you’d probably even get lost driving.

However, smartphones can present problems for students when it comes to sitting in class or taking exams.

If you’re thinking about using your phone to cheat on an exam, you should probably be aware of the consequences first. At DC Student Defense, we defend students who are accused of cheating on a regular basis, so we know how serious these accusations can be.

Below is our breakdown of the consequences of cheating with your phone, and what you can do to avoid cheating accusations.

Consequences of cheating with your smartphone

Any form of cheating is almost certainly going to be a violation of your school’s code of conduct or academic honesty policy.

For example, the George Washington University’s policies and procedures define cheating in part as:

“Intentionally or knowingly using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.”

This definition encompasses cheating on exams or assignments where accessing other materials is forbidden by the professor. By choosing to violate these policies, you are taking an enormous risk, and if you’re caught, the consequences can be quite severe

Here are some of the academic consequences you might face if you’re caught cheating with a smartphone:

  • Verbal reprimand
  • Written reprimand
  • Failing grade (for the class or assignment)
  • Dismissal from the course
  • Academic, disciplinary, or athletic probation
  • Loss of privileges (sports, clubs, etc.)
  • Suspension
  • Loss of scholarships
  • Expulsion

Cheating with a smartphone on a final exam or a midterm will almost certainly result in failure of the course. If necessary for graduation, you will have to retake the course, which will be a massive eyesore on your transcript no matter how you cut it.

Whatever the case, this will result in money lost and great frustration all around.

How to avoid cheating accusations

Regardless of whether you actually did cheat, an accusation of cheating can have some serious consequences for your academic future. To avoid this crisis, here are some tips on how to avoid cheating accusations:

  • Don’t cheat: this one may seem a bit obvious, but it’s important
  • Follow testing protocols to the T: for example, time limits, deadlines, and secure exam browsers
  • Don’t use your phone during a test: even if it’s for something else, like texting a friend
  • Cite your sources properly: check out this resource from Purdue OWL on what counts as plagiarism
  • Hire a student defense attorney if you’re accused on cheating

Contact DC Student Defense

If you do find yourself accused of cheating on an exam or assignment, don’t fret. An experienced student defense attorney like Shan Wu will make sure your rights are respected, and help you prepare a defense so that you don’t suffer serious long-term consequences to your academic career. Contact DC Student Defense for a consultation 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.

Shan Wu

Author Shan Wu

Shan’s professional and personal background gives him a unique understanding of academic institutions and the criminal justice system. A former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he is at home in D.C. Courts and very familiar with all of the Washington, D.C. law enforcement agencies, especially the Metropolitan Police Department. His parents were university professors so he grew up in a university environment. He understands the mindset of academic institutions. As a prosecutor, he supervised in the misdemeanor crime section. This is the section of the Washington, D.C. prosecutor’s office that handles most college student cases. His understanding of charging decisions and how judges view these cases is invaluable to his student clients and their families. Shan served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for over ten years. During his tenure there, now Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. appointed him to supervisory positions in the Misdemeanor Trial Section and also in a police corruption task force. His outstanding legal work in the government was recognized through numerous Special Achievement Awards from the Justice Department as well as awards conveyed by law enforcement agencies and community groups. From 1999-2000, Shan served as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal and civil investigations, E-Gov, E-Commerce (electronic signatures, internet gambling, internet telephony, privacy & public access issues in electronic court filings), congressional oversight, and legislative review. His responsibilities included serving as liaison to the FBI, DEA, Criminal Division, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, National Institute of Justice, and White House Counsel’s Office. Shan serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Hearing Committee of the Board on Professional Responsibility and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated Order of the Barristers, edited two law reviews, and was Co-Director of the Moot Court Program. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Following law school, he clerked for the late Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the late Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

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