According to Legal Zoom, some of the consequences that can happen as a result of committing plagiarism include expulsion from college, job dismissal and getting sued for monetary damages. While plagiarism is not a crime, it is an offense that is not taken lightly when discovered.
In the academic world, plagiarizing someone's work is considered to be dishonest or fraudulent, notes Wikipedia. Students, researchers and professors who paraphrase content or forget to use quotation marks can be accused of plagiarism, whether it is intentional or not, as stated by Kennesaw University. Kennesaw University also notes that buying a class paper or having a paper written by someone else is grounds for disciplinary action. The penalties in academia range from censure to expulsion.
Journalism is another area where plagiarism is harshly dealt with because the profession heavily depends on earning public trust. Wikipedia reports that several journalists have succumbed to the temptation of copying sections from other people's written work and representing it as their own. Journalists are required to cite their sources. When caught, these journalists lose credibility and face suspension or termination.
It is not uncommon to see plagiarism lawsuits within the entertainment and publishing worlds. Legal Zoom notes that when artistic content too closely resembles another work, authors and artists may be sued for copyright violation.