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Charged with Cheating by Unauthorized Collaboration? Defense Tips from a Lawyer for College Students

What is Unauthorized Collaboration?

College students often rely on multiple sources to complete assignments, papers, and study for exams. Students also find benefit in working with other classmates or study groups to submit the best possible work to their professors. This is a great strategy and one used by hundreds of college students daily. However, I am seeing an increasing number of students being charged with unauthorized collaboration which falls under the disciplinary category of cheating.

Many schools define unauthorized collaboration as working with another student, tutor, writing lab, or any other person to complete an assignment without the permission of the professor or instructor. Unauthorized collaboration can apply to papers, take-home tests, computer coding, labs…the list goes on. I have seen a variety of assignments bring students to me for help defending against a charge of unauthorized collaboration.

The professor didn’t say we couldn’t work together.

Many professors will not state that you couldn’t work with other students on assignments. When students are charged with cheating via unauthorized collaboration, professors point to their syllabus as evidence. While professors may not have said you can’t work in groups, they say it was implied. You may ask, “How is that fair?” I do not agree with this implied position, but arguing that point will not help you defend against the charges.

How do you defend academic charges of unauthorized collaboration?

The defense strategy depends on the situation and facts of each student. Generally speaking, students should do the following:

  • Students should access the school handbook and search for the disciplinary procedure section.
  • Figure out what the academic disciplinary process is and then determine what step they are on in this process.
  • Students should review possible academic sanctions related to the charge laid forth in the academic charging letter.
  • Students should fully review all available options including defending themselves against the charge, going in front of an academic hearing panel, and even appealing a sanction.

Can a lawyer who represents college students help defend against a charge of unauthorized collaboration?

Yes. I offer advisement to students all over the US with defending against unauthorized collaboration or cheating charges. Each student’s situation is unique, and my defense strategy depends on the situation. As a lawyer who represents college students, my expertise in the college disciplinary process gives each student the best chance for success.

Can you help all college students?

Yes. I help students all over the country fight accusations of unauthorized collaboration and cheating. By working together to craft the best defense possible, you will be given the greatest chance at success. I also attend hearings with students to support them during this very stressful event. Typically, a panel of students and staff will question the student. The presence of a lawyer for college students will help the student keep calm and refute accusations while keeping the hearing fair and honest.

Give me a call today. I offer free consultations and fair prices to help students keep their record clean and stop a suspension or expulsion from school. (855) 388-5299

Richard Asselta is an award-winning education lawyer offering student advising services nationally. Call today for a free consultation and see how The Education Lawyers will fight for you.

Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.

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