A first-time charge of driving while intoxicated is a misdemeanor, and a conviction results in a lifetime criminal record.
A criminal conviction alters your life in many ways you may not realize, such as impacting your opportunities for higher education.
Applying to colleges
Most colleges collect criminal background information on their applicants. Applications usually require you to list any arrests or convictions you have, including drunk driving offenses. Depending on your circumstances, a college may require alcohol counseling or deny your admission outright.
Getting financial aid
A DWI or other criminal conviction can make getting federal aid or scholarships challenging. If your sentence includes jail time, your federal aid options are severely limited while incarcerated. If convicted of drug charges, it can also be difficult to obtain federal grants or loans after your release.
Scholarships from private organizations may allow you to apply but typically require disclosing any convictions. Your record may be a negative determining factor in their decisions.
Qualifying for student housing
A criminal record can interfere with your approval for student housing. Colleges and universities may immediately reject your application based on your history of charges.
Continuing your higher education
When your DWI occurs, your university will impose consequences if you are currently in school. The repercussions may include:
- Mandatory alcohol or drug counseling
- Suspension from extra-curricular programs, such as music or art programs, sports, fraternities, or sororities
- Removal from student housing
- Revocation of your scholarship
- Temporary or permanent suspension from admission
A criminal conviction can affect your education, impacting your life forever. If you face DWI charges, it is critical to understand your legal options. Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to reduce your charges or have them dropped.