A DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Academic Future
Everybody makes mistakes when they are young. Some of them are more serious than others, but all of them can have a negative impact on your future prospects, particularly when they involve encounters with law enforcement. When those encounters result in convictions, the negative impact potentially grows significantly. Most people who are first applying to college are legally juveniles.
While juvenile convictions often can be expunged—eventually—and juvenile criminal records are largely shielded, even first-offense convictions for driving under the influence will leave indications on your driving record that you were convicted of DUI. For instance, license suspensions or revocations that will accompany a DUI will be on your driving record, even if the court record of your conviction as a juvenile is not generally available.
Furthermore, not every recent high school graduate applying to college—or any other college applicants, for that matter, are juveniles. DUI convictions have a serious impact on adult college applicants, as well.
Colleges Don’t Have to Accept You
Getting into college these days is a competitive proposition. Getting into a good college is even more competitive. Just ask Lori Loughlin. For people who can’t afford to bribe their way into a good school, having a spotless background is even more important. A DUI conviction is not a part of that “good background.” A DUI conviction is hard to hide, even if it happened when you were a juvenile. Further, you can’t expunge a DUI conviction. If the conviction isn’t expunged, you can’t say you haven’t been convicted of that crime. College applications require truthful answers. Lying on a college application generally will get you expelled if the school finds out about it.
In addition, many schools won’t accept an applicant who has a DUI conviction. Many schools run background checks on applicants and will revoke or deny scholarships to applicants with DUI convictions. In addition, many colleges require you to list any criminal convictions or arrests on your application, including DUI offenses. Especially if you have multiple DUI arrests and convictions, many universities will reject your application.
Even if you only have one DUI conviction, colleges might admit you only if you have completed a drug or alcohol counseling program or a pre-trial diversion program. Even those schools that won’t reject you for having a DUI arrest or a DUI conviction will deny your application—or expel you, depending upon when they learn the truth—for failing to disclose your DUI arrest or conviction on your application. One way or another, the college is likely to find out about your DUI conviction. If they find out before you are accepted, you likely won’t be. If they find out after you are accepted, you likely will be kicked out. This is the classic no-win situation.
A DUI Conviction Can Have Serious Implications After You Are in College, as Well
Even if you already are in college, a DUI conviction can have serious negative impacts on your academic career. Just for starters, many schools will revoke scholarships or financial aid for students convicted of DUI. You also could be evicted from on-campus housing following a DUI conviction. Worst of all, you could be expelled. Any of these results will make your journey through college more difficult. Expulsion could end that journey. Other colleges will be less likely to admit you following your expulsion from one college for a DUI conviction.
Once you are in college, what happens to you if you are charged with or convicted of DUI depends largely upon the individual university’s policies. Some colleges require students to report any arrests to the school. Under such policies, it is the failure to report, not the DUI arrest itself, that could result in you being suspended or expelled. Even a temporary suspension could lead to losing any financial aid you have been awarded. Even if a DUI conviction does not automatically result in the revocation of financial aid, it is possible that a drop in your grades as a consequence of meeting your DUI sentencing consequences could lead to losing a scholarship.
For anything other than a first-time DUI offense, jail time is a real possibility. Even if your school does not expel you for multiple DUI convictions, it is likely that even a relatively short time in jail will have an impact on your grades that could lead to your academic suspension. Realistically, there is no positive way to spin a DUI conviction, no matter what your university’s policies might be. With so many qualified applicants every year, especially at good schools that can pick and choose, an applicant with a DUI conviction, no matter who otherwise well-qualified that person might be, likely will not be worth the risk for most universities. They have too many other applicants to choose from who don’t have that blemish on their records.
If Are Facing DUI Charges in DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, Contact the Criminal Attorneys of Martin & Kent, L.L.C.
While you might think that a DUI conviction, even as a juvenile, won’t affect your ability to go to college, you’d be wrong. There are many ways a DUI conviction, even as a juvenile, can affect your ability to get into college. DUI charges can’t be expunged, which means that even if a college can’t access a DUI conviction that is a juvenile record, you have to tell the truth on your application. A DUI conviction is highly likely to keep you from being accepted to a college, or at least to the college of your choice.
If you are facing DUI charges, you need to think about your future ability to get accepted to college. Call the criminal attorneys of Martin & Kent, L.L.C. We have the experience and the know-how – including years as felony prosecutors—to get the best possible result for you. For a consultation in DuPage, Kane, or Cook County, contact us 24 hours a day at (630) 474-8000.