Being arrested for drunk driving is unfortunately not uncommon for many young drivers. Most of the time, the embarrassment, shame, and financial consequences of a DUI are enough to prevent a driver from driving while intoxicated again. For this reason, it may seem unfair that a DUI will follow you, and affect your ability to get into college, get financial aid, and even go on to grad school.
If you are a high school student thinking about college in the future, a current college student, or even considering a graduate or professional degree such as law school, you need to know what a DUI might mean for your future. If you've been arrested for a DUI, but have not yet been convicted, you need to contact a qualified and experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer to fight the charges, and keep a DUI off your permanent record. There are many ways to reduce DUI charges, or even get them totally dismissed.
If you have already been convicted of drunk driving, a DUI defense lawyer may be able to get your record expunged. Otherwise, the one-time mistake that resulted in a DUI conviction may have to be a part of your college considerations going forward.
Reporting a DUI on College Applications
Whether or not a college applicant will have to report a DUI on a college or university application will depend on the school. Some applications ask about prior criminal convictions, and some do not. Some schools ask about criminal charges, while others only ask about felonies. Since most Georgia DUIs are misdemeanors, some college applications wouldn't require reporting a DUI.
On other applications, there may be an optional question to add additional information, or any criminal or disciplinary issues. It is up to the applicant if they want to add something about a DUI conviction, but probably not necessary. However, when filling out a college application, it is advisable not to be deceptive or lie. Lying on a college application can be grounds for disciplinary action by the university, including expulsion.
Most would-be college students can take comfort in the fact that for most schools, a single DUI will not cause a university to deny their admission. College admissions officers come across lots of students with prior DUI arrests, and understand that in most cases, it is a one-time mistake.
College Financial Aid
A felony DUI might prevent a student for applying for financial aid or scholarships, but most misdemeanor DUIs won't have a major impact on finding money to pay for college. However, some private scholarships may require reporting of a DUI charge, or bar some students from applying for a scholarship if they have a DUI conviction.
For student athletes, a DUI could threaten their athletic scholarships. Most athletes are required to sign a code of conduct, that they agree not to participate in certain activities, which usually includes things like drinking and driving. If a student athlete is caught drinking and driving, they will likely be suspended.
Graduate School DUI
Just like for undergraduate admission, the requirements to report a DUI will depend on the graduate or professional school application. Again, it is to the applicants benefit not to be deceitful on graduate school applications.
Applicants to law school have specific reporting requirements that require disclosure of any criminal charge, even if it did not end in a conviction. This continues after graduation from law school, when the state bar will review a student's fitness to practice law. If they discover that a candidate failed to disclose a criminal history, they may deny the graduate's admission to the state bar.
Atlanta DUI Defense for College Students
Dealing with the fallout from a DUI is bad enough, that you don't want it to affect your education and future opportunities. If you are charged with driving under the influence, and worried how it might affect your college career or future applications, give me a call. We can discuss what happened, and decide how best to defend your rights, and keep your record clean.