» Education and School Law

Should I bring an attorney to a university disciplinary hearing?

's Profile Image I often get the question: Should I bring a lawyer to a disciplinary hearing in college?  My recommendation – Yes. Public schools allow advisers who are attorneys to attend disciplinary hearings with the accused student. Private schools are allowed to make their own policies so whether someone can come with a student depends on their policies.  What can a lawyer for students do to help a student in a university disciplinary hearing? In most schools, they restrict the advisers role to student support. This means that an adviser cannot actively participate in the hearing, the student must be the one speaking. However, an adviser can speak to the student, write down questions, organize evidence, and other things to actively support the student to successfully represent themselves.  If an adviser can’t address the panel during the hearing, is it worth bringing an adviser? Yes. I think it is important that the school sees that there is someone there supporting the student. These hearings can be a lot of pressure and tend to make students nervous. My presence and support has helped students remain calm and clear minded. I keep the student on track and ensure that they make all of their defense points, present all of their evidence clearly, and question witnesses effectively.  Another important point is that my presence makes the university play fair. I have heard horror stories from students who handle these hearings on their own and the school has not followed their own procedures and treat the students terribly. However, when I have attended with students, I have never seen this behavior take place.  If you are facing a university disciplinary hearing call Asselta Law today. We offer national student defense services for disciplinary hearings and all types of student appeals. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.  Read More

Accused of forging a Doctor's note, sign-in or internship log in college?

's Profile Image I was charged with falsifying or forging class records. What does that mean? It could mean you are accused of one of the following: Helping your friend out and signing them into class or lab. Playing as your friend in a class polling assignment for credit. Noting time on an internship log that you did not complete. Noting dates and time on a lab attendance record when you were not there. What happens if I was caught falsifying my class records? Check your universities procedure for academic dishonesty violations. Generally, students are allowed to defend themselves against forgery accusations. It may happen between just you and the professor or in front of an honor code committee.  What can happen if I am found responsible for fabricating school documents? You will receive a sanction. Sanctions can range from a warning up to dismissal and expulsion from your university. Can I appeal a disciplinary sanction? Yes. A disciplinary appeal is typically a written submission with only a few categories to argue in. The most common student appeal categories are new information, harshness of sanction, and policy violations. I write appeals for students using my extensive background as an appellate attorney and specialized knowledge of the academic disciplinary process. Can you help me defend my honor code charge? Yes. I offer student defense advising services throughout the United States. Using my nearly twenty years as an attorney with a specialized knowledge of the academic integrity process, I assist students to gain successful outcomes. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Richard Asselta is an award-winning student defense lawyer who offers student defense services throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of college disciplinary issues, including falsification. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website. Read More

Caught with drugs or paraphernalia in school? Advice from a lawyer for students.

's Profile Image Using of vape pens and bringing edibles to school is gaining in popularity among students. Schools have responded with a zero tolerance policy if a student is caught with possession of a drug, drug paraphernalia, or if they distribute of drugs. Even pretending that a something is a drug can be cause for suspension or expulsion. What is considered a drug? Each school district has their own rules for what is banned from a school campus. Most common drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine are banned. Prescription drugs like Adderall, Xanax, and Ativan can also be banned if the student who has them is not the prescribed person. What about having a vaping device, rolling paper, pipe, or other paraphernalia on school grounds? If a school finds a student with drug paraphernalia like a pipe, vaporizer, or Juul they will submit it for residue testing. A pipe or other device with tobacco residue is usually treated less severe than if it was used with marijuana. Even if the student did not have possession of the drug on school, whatever residue was found will be considered. I was pretending that an edible had drugs in it, but it didn’t. Even joking around that an edible has drugs in it can be cause for suspension or expulsion from school. Can you help me fight a suspension or expulsion from school? Yes. I defend students throughout Florida in student disciplinary hearings. Using my nearly twenty years of legal experience combined with specialized knowledge of the student disciplinary process, I give students the best chance at a successful outcome. Call now for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer for students who assists students facing suspension or expulsion from school. Call today and start building your defense. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website.   Read More

Bought a paper or assignment online and got caught? Advice from a lawyer for students.

's Profile Image College is stressful, and students can fall behind in their work. The pressure to keep their grades up can cause students to turn to websites that claim, “pay us and we will write you a 100% original paper, guaranteed.” However, the guarantee is rarely ever truthful. I have worked with several students who used a service like this and then were flagged for plagiarism. What should a student do if caught turning in a purchased paper? Students are usually caught when professors use plagiarism checkers. Buying a paper can cause a student to face not one but several honor code violations. These violations can be tough to defend against because it is challenging to argue against a similarity report like the one that Turnitin uses. Just saying you didn’t plagiarize while a report says otherwise is not a good defense strategy. You need evidence to prove this. I work with students to figure out if there is evidence to support they didn’t plagiarize or find a way to negotiate for a lower sanction. Click here to read more about plagiarism. Richard Asselta is a lawyer for students who defends students all over the United States. If you find yourself accused of plagiarism, call Asselta Law today. Free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Read More

Why students should be careful when connected to their schools Wi-Fi.

's Profile Image Beware of connecting to your schools internet. Here’s why. Several students have called me and were accused of cheating on an exam. All from different universities with a similar issue. The students excused themselves to go to the bathroom and took their phone with them. Then while in the bathroom, they access an online portal like canvas or notes on a web-page. All of this is done while on the school Wi-Fi. They then score higher than usual or had similar answers to other sources and are flagged for cheating. The student denies this but then the school offers up evidence that your phone was sending and receiving data during exam time. The school may not be able to tell what you looked at, but they know you accessed something. If your phone is active while you are taking an exam, it looks bad. My advice Turn off your phone or at least your Wi-Fi while taking an exam. If you are already accused of cheating, there are defenses but what those defenses are depends on your unique situation. If you find yourself in a similar situation, give me a call. I offer free consultations and student defense services nationwide. (855) 338-5299 Read More

What should a Florida teacher do if accused of FSA or EOC test administration misconduct?

's Profile Image Florida teachers are often required to help administer FSA or EOC tests. Administering these tests can put a teacher at risk if they aren’t careful.  What types of issues could cause a teacher to face accusations of test misconduct? Giving too much or too little time Helping students outside of what the test administration manual allows Pointing to answers Telling a student to check their answers What can happen to a teacher if accused of helping students on an FSA or EOC test? The Florida Department of Education takes these accusations seriously. Many teachers have been told they will face at a minimum a suspension. If you face an accusation of helping students on a standardized test, contact Asselta Law immediately. We are experienced in defending teachers at the district, state, and in administrative hearings. (855) 338-5299 Read More

What should a Florida teacher do if they face an investigation by the Department of Education?

's Profile Image What happens if a Florida teacher receives a letter from the Department of Education? If you received a letter from the DOE, chances are you have some idea what it is about. Most of the incidents originate at your district level. You may have been investigated by your school district and even faced disciplinary action. However, districts are required to report certain infractions to the state. Even though you may have settled the incident with your district, you may still face additional discipline from the state. What should a teacher do if the receive the DOE investigation letter? Call an defense attorney for teachers immediately. The DOE letter will request documents, statements, and more and want it all in a very short time frame. What the DOE does not tell you is that you can hire a lawyer to defend you.  This is your livelihood and your profession. Do not take a letter of investigation lightly. The sooner you get an attorney who defends teachers involved, the better your chance at a successful outcome.  Richard Asselta, award-winning attorney, defends Florida teachers at district, state, and administrative hearings. Call today for a free consultation and protect your career. (855) 338-5299   Read More

Is using a professors old course materials considered cheating?

's Profile Image You are in college there are pressures and you want to do the best you can. You are taking a course and talk to friends, maybe they had the professor last semester or you do online searches and find the professors old course materials. You then use these materials to study. Then test day comes and you notice the test is identical or almost exactly the same as what you studied from. You end up getting a very high score, much higher than the class average. The professor then calls you in for a meeting and accuses you of cheating. Is using a professors past course materials to study considered cheating? Maybe. It depends on your university. Does the university have a policy that using past materials against the rules, did the professor say anything in class or put anything in their syllabus that says this is not appropriate? There are many defenses to a cheating accusation and they depend on the facts of your case.  Are you accused of cheating in school? Contact Asselta Law today. We offer free consultations and defend students throughout the United States.  Richard Asselta is an award-winning defense attorney for students. He is experienced in helping students who are facing accusations of cheating in college.  Click here to read what clients are saying on AVVO, a lawyer review website. Read More

Should I bring an attorney as my adviser to an honor code hearing?

's Profile Image In a previous video I discussed what an academic integrity or honor code hearing is. In this video I am going to discuss the importance of bringing an adviser to the hearing. What is an adviser for academic integrity and honor code hearings? An adviser sits in with the student during the hearing and assists them in presenting their defense. Can I bring an adviser to my university honor code hearing? Maybe. That depends on your university. Check your student handbook for the rules regarding advisers. Most public schools allow advisers but private schools can restrict the attendance of an adviser.  How can an honor code hearing adviser help me? I see several benefits to the participation of an adviser in an academic integrity hearing. I help students prepare for the hearing, present their case, and support them during the hearing.  Richard Asselta, defense attorney for students, acts as an adviser for students who must face an academic integrity committee hearing. Do you need an adviser for an honor code hearing? Call Asselta Law today for help. We offer free consultations. (855) 338-5299   Read More

What is an academic integrity hearing? A defense lawyer for students answers.

's Profile Image Accused of an academic honor code violation and have to face a committee hearing? What should a student expect? A honor code committee hearing can be intimidating. The student will face a panel of students and professors who will decide if they are guilty of committing a violation of the honor code.  What should a student expect to happen at an academic hearing? A university student should be prepared to present their case against the charges. This involves asking and answering questions, presenting evidence, providing witnesses, and more. Can you help me prepare for my academic integrity hearing? Yes. I help students all over the US prepare their honor code violation defense. Call today for a free consultation. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, a lawyer review website.  Read More

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