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The UCLA Academic Integrity Process. A Defense Lawyer for Students Discusses.

UCLA is one of the premier universities in the United States. Like most prestigious schools, UCLA takes academic dishonesty very seriously. It is not uncommon for students who are found responsible for cheating on a mid-term or final exam to receive a one-semester suspension.

What will happen if I am accused of an academic integrity violation at UCLA? 

Like most schools, UCLA has an investigation period where the accused student is allowed to present information refuting or explain what happened. However, UCLA is unique in that the student meets with a dean who explains to the student what he or she is accused of doing and provides the student information concerning the case. The student is allowed to present to the dean information in order to defend themselves. The dean may meet with the student several times. Each time, the dean will normally create a memo that talks about what happened at the meeting.

Once the dean has all of the information, the dean will then make a determination as to what happens with the case. The dean can decide that the student did not commit the offense, at which time the case is concluded. Or, the dean can decide that there is not enough information available to support a potential academic integrity charge and decide to drop the case. Finally, the dean can conclude that the information is basically too close to call and that the matter should proceed to a hearing before a conduct committee.

The Importance of Getting an Attorney Involved Quickly

UCLA is one of the schools where I would encourage students to have an attorney help them as soon as possible. This is because if the case is not dropped, the dean many times will appear at the conduct hearing and discuss what was discovered, what the student claimed and will share with the committee the memos that the dean wrote up after meeting with the student. Because of that a student needs to know what they are going to say the first time they meet with the dean. It is crucial that a student starts thinking about their defense before that first meeting. This is why getting a student defense attorney involved from the beginning is important.

What are possible sanctions if I am found responsible for an academic integrity violation?

Sanctions at UCLA depend on several factors, most importantly what is it that the student is accused of doing. As I mentioned, UCLA is fairly strict with its sanctions and it is not unusual for students to receive a one quarter suspension. 

Can you help me defend an academic integrity violation?

Yes. I assist students nationwide in these and related issues, including assisting students at UCLA. My expertise in the school disciplinary process gives each student the best chance for success.

Richard Asselta is a student defense lawyer who fights for students facing academic integrity and honor code violations throughout the United States.

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

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