Facing Issues of Academic Misconduct?

Are you accused of academic misconduct (a.k.a. academic dishonesty, academic offence) by your university?

The consequences of an unfavourable ruling can be very severe, including:

Warning or reprimand

The university may issue a formal warning or reprimand, which will be recorded in your academic file.

Failing grade for the assignment

If you’re found guilty of academic misconduct, you may receive a failing grade for the assignment in question.

Failing grade for the course

In more serious cases, you may receive a failing grade for the entire course.

Suspension from the university

You may be suspended from the university for a certain period of time, depending on the severity of the misconduct.

Expulsion from the university

In the most serious cases, you may be expelled from the university, which means you’ll be permanently barred from attending that institution.

Cancellation of the student visa

If you’re an international student and you’re expelled from the university, your student visa is likely to be cancelled, which means you’ll have to leave Canada.

Trustiics: One-Stop Platform for Trusted Legal Services in Canada

If you’re facing any of these allegations, it’s important to take immediate action to protect your rights and interests.

On Trustiics, you will have access to skilled criminal defence lawyers who are well-versed in university academic misconduct procedures, and they can:

  • provide you with valuable advice
  • guide you on the process
  • help you understand your options 
  • help you draft an explanation letter
  • represent you at school hearings

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Legal Q&A

What are the most common types of academic offences that university students can be accused of?

  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating
  • Fabrication
  • Misrepresentation
  • Tampering with grades
  • Unauthorized collaboration
  • Multiple submission
  • Unauthorized possession of exams
  • False citation
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty

What conduct is deemed as “Plagiarism” in the context of academic work?

Plagiarism involves using someone else’s work or ideas without proper attribution. This can include copying and pasting text from a source, paraphrasing without citation, or using someone else’s ideas without giving them credit.

What conduct is deemed as "Cheating”?

Cheating involves gaining an unfair advantage in academic work. This can include looking at someone else’s answers during a test, using unauthorized materials during an exam, or collaborating with other students without permission.

What conduct is deemed as “Fabrication”?

Fabrication involves inventing or falsifying information. This can include creating data for a research project, forging a signature on a document, or falsifying academic credentials.

What conduct is deemed as “Misrepresentation”?

Misrepresentation involves providing false or misleading information. This can include lying on an application or resume, misrepresenting your academic record, or misrepresenting the work you’ve done on an assignment.

What conduct is deemed as “Tampering with Grades”?

Tampering with grades involves changing or altering academic records. This can include hacking into a school system to change grades, altering a transcript, or altering a professor’s assessment of your work.

What conduct is deemed as “Unauthorized Collaboration”?

Unauthorized collaboration involves working with others without permission. This can include collaborating on an individual assignment, collaborating on a group project without permission, or sharing work without permission.

What conduct is deemed as “Multiple Submission”?

Multiple submission involves submitting the same work for multiple assignments without permission. This can include submitting the same essay for two different classes, submitting the same work for a resubmission without permission, or resubmitting someone else’s work as your own.

What conduct is deemed as “Unauthorized Possession of Exams”?

Unauthorized possession of exams involves obtaining and using confidential information. This can include stealing an exam, sharing exam questions with others, or using an unauthorized copy of an exam.

What conduct is deemed as “False Citation”?

False citation involves providing false or incorrect information about sources. This can include citing a source that doesn’t exist, citing a source that doesn’t support your argument, or using a fake source.

What conduct is deemed as “Facilitating Academic Dishonesty”?

Facilitating academic dishonesty involves helping others cheat or engage in academic misconduct. This can include sharing answers with others, allowing someone else to copy your work, or providing unauthorized assistance during an exam.

What should I do if I am accused of academic misconduct as an international student?

If you are accused of academic misconduct, it is important to take the situation seriously and act quickly. Your first step should be to review your institution’s policies on academic misconduct to understand the process and your rights. You may also want to seek legal advice or guidance from your institution’s international student office.

Should I consider using a lawyer if I am charged with academic misconduct?

It is recommended that you consider using a lawyer if you are charged with academic misconduct. A lawyer can help you understand the charges against you, your rights, and your options for defense. They can also represent you in any meetings or hearings related to your case.

Should I draft an explanation letter to the university myself, or should I seek the help of a lawyer?

It is recommended that you seek the help of a lawyer to draft an explanation letter to the university if you are accused of academic misconduct. The explanation letter is an important part of your defence, as it provides you with an opportunity to explain your actions and defend yourself against the charges. 


A lawyer can help you write a clear and effective explanation letter that addresses the allegations against you and highlights any mitigating circumstances or factors that may have contributed to the alleged misconduct. They can also help you ensure that your letter is respectful and professional and that it adheres to the policies and procedures of your institution.

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