An arrest or conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can have a lasting adverse effect on your college life, finances, and job opportunities. How a DUI in college will affect you depends on your college’s policies and the specifics of your DUI case.
This one single indiscretion — getting behind the wheel while intoxicated — can thwart your schooling and throw your future off course. If you are facing charges for DUI, discuss your case with a Goldman Wetzel DUI lawyer and see how we may be able to intervene and help avoid a conviction: 727-828-3900.
Ways a DUI Can Affect College Life
Unlike getting a citation for speeding or running a red light, a DUI is a criminal charge and shows up on your record when someone does a background check on you. A DUI conviction can damage your college life in several ways:
Deter Career Path
While some colleges may overlook misdemeanor DUIs, certain school programs, such as nursing, medicine, or law, take criminal cases much more seriously. They often deny applicants who have a criminal record. A DUI conviction makes it exceptionally hard to get into certain programs, and you may have to change your field of study entirely.
Suspend Financial Aid
A DUI can also impact financial aid and scholarships, a serious concern for students who rely on financial assistance for their education. If you are currently receiving assistance, federal financial aid may cease, as may private scholarships. If you plan to apply for aid post-DUI, the agencies may deny your application.
Expulsion, Housing, and Clubs
The same way a college may decide to deny you admission if you have a DUI on your record, it may also elect to suspend or expel you if the state convicts you for DUI. If it does not expel you, the college may evict you from student housing, kick you off of the sports team, and remove you from student clubs.
Some colleges may overlook your DUI unless it is a violation of the school’s Code of Conduct.
Lying About A DUI Proves Futile
Lying to your college’s administration will not end well. Unless the court has sealed your record, you must disclose it upon official request. When the school pulls your criminal record, it will see the entry on your file and take action. In some cases, the college will take disciplinary action towards students for the act of lying rather than for a DUI charge itself.
Honesty is the best policy. Be truthful about any DUI convictions and if asked about the incident, simply express regret and reassure the questioner that you have learned your lesson and are on a positive path. In some cases, they may choose to ignore your DUI if they believe you are serious about changing your ways.
Ways a DUI Can Impact Your Future
College aside, a DUI conviction on your record can adversely impact your future as well. A conviction for DUI in Florida can mean huge fines, mandatory completion of a drug and alcohol course, and time behind bars. The sentence a defendant receives for DUI depends on the circumstances of the case (e.g., whether there was an accident, injuries, or death) and the number of prior offenses.
Additionally, with a DUI conviction:
- The state can suspend your driver’s license;
- Auto insurers may increase your premiums;
- Employers may refuse to hire you;
- Landlords may deny your housing application;
- Professional organizations may deny your license application; and
- The DUI may affect future, unrelated civil or criminal cases.
Getting Legal Help to Protect Your Future
Of course, if the police have arrested you for DUI, avoiding a conviction altogether would be the best outcome. If you are facing DUI charges, speak to our criminal defense attorneys about your case to discuss your legal options. Charges do not necessarily have to mean a conviction. The sooner you enlist our help, the more leeway and options we may have.
We may be able to identify and expose errors in the state’s case that sways the state or court to drop your case. For example, faulty breathalyzers, poorly administered sobriety tests, illegal search and seizure, and officers’ failure to uphold your rights can all affect the outcome of your case.
In cases where the state’s evidence is substantial, we may be able to work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor, assist you in obtaining a DUI hardship license, and potentially help you avoid jail time.
Calling Our DUI Lawyers ASAP
DUI cases proceed quickly; the window for defense opportunities is short. Contact our office today for a free, one-on-one consultation with a member of our DUI defense team. We will review your case, explain your options, and share ways we can help. Call 727-828-3900 today.