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Is the school allowed to give me & 2 friends an "incomplete" grade for their accusation of we having the exam key and using it.

Lynnwood, WA |

the teacher came to conclusion that my 2 friends & I somehow gained access to an instructors key in terms of answering the he has given us an incomplete for the class and referred us to the vice pres. of the school to figure the story i guess, not sure. they claim that there is a great amount of similarity between our tests, and the teachers answer key. us three have had the same schedule for the past couple years so we study together,when studying we had a friend who helped us study, who still had his notebook from where his notes and scratchwork was done, even the scratchwork done when he took the exam years back. so that how we were all able to get the same answer, and i guess like the answer key. school has no evidence besides our exams. BTW the exam is open notes/book.

have appt. next week with the colleges vice president, however i have no idea what to expect from the meeting. since they have nothing on us besides our exams, also the class is java code if that makes a differance

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Attorney answers 1


You may be charged with academic misconduct and you may face serious discipline including expulsion. If that ensues, consult immediately with an administrative law attorney who practices in the narrow nice of college-level school disciplinary processes.

Be careful what you say in the meeting. You will be stuck with any statement over the course. Very likely you will be stuck with the detailed statement you posted here.

School disciplinary actions are not a level playing field. The school will decide whether to bring charges and what charges. The school will develop the evidence to support the charges and present it to a school-designated fact-finder in a school-designed proceeding. The school will decide what penalty to impose for any sustained charges.

Students are seldom wholly successful in defending against formal charges of academic dishonesty, and the consequences of such charges and sustained findings are huge and horrible. Consequences can affect student financial aid eligibility and admission to grad and professional schools and programs, and can make transfer to another undergrad institution very difficult. In many cases, the best available result is a stipulated withdrawal from school with an agreement for confidentiality and sealing of the matter against any disclosures.

Most students need time and an understanding of the strength of the school's evidence to reach the view that the best available deal is the right course.

Let's hope that you are not going to be advised of charges in your meeting. But your story, as laid out here, is not a slam-dunk for no further action. If you can come out of this with nothing more than an incomplete i the course and the loss of your instructor's respect, consider yourself very lucky.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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