May 7, 2024

Photo of a Policeman Giving Breathalyzer

When facing a DWI conviction as a college student or during the college admissions process, you may wonder if you’ve ruined your chances of obtaining a higher education. College admission is competitive enough—with a DWI conviction, it may be even tougher.

You’re not just competing for a coveted spot to study at college. You’re also likely competing for financial aid, which has limited resources. Without this assistance, you may not be able to afford your tuition, even if you do get accepted. 

If you seek a college education, it’s important to understand your legal rights when facing DWI charges. Napier Law Firm is dedicated to providing expert legal counsel for those facing DWI or DUI convictions. We understand your questions and concerns about the impacts a DUI conviction may have on your college application. In this blog post, we’ll explore how a DWI conviction can affect your college career and provide essential information on your legal options.

Do I Need to Disclose My Criminal History to College Admissions Officers?

If you receive a DWI conviction, you may think there is no harm in omitting this detail of your criminal history on your college application. However, if you ask any criminal defense attorney, “Will a DWI conviction affect admissions to colleges,” they will urge you to disclose this information.

If the college finds out that you have criminal convictions such as a felony DWI charge, it may result in an immediate refusal of your application. This could quickly derail your education plans. It’s best that you protect your future by being honest. Most schools will conduct a background check and look into other aspects of your credentials. This includes searching for criminal records. If they see that you have a criminal background, especially if there are felony convictions, they could reject you.

Keep in mind that even if you were admitted to school and are attending classes, or if you already earned your degree, covering up your criminal past could come back to haunt you. If you were charged with a DWI, speak with an attorney for the legal guidance you need.

What If My Conviction Was for a Misdemeanor?

Colleges and professional schools such as law schools or medical schools operate under their own rules. The college you are applying to or that you already attend may be willing to overlook a misdemeanor charge. When it comes to felonies though, most colleges will likely decline your application.

Will a DWI Affect My Financial Aid?

Many college students rely on federal student aid programs to cover the costs of tuition. This financial assistance may even allow you to go to a school that would have been out of your budget. Federal financial aid programs usually decline any applicant who has a criminal conviction, especially if that conviction was for a felony.

What to Do If You’re Facing DWI Charges and Want to Go to College

The steps you take immediately following your arrest could help keep your future on track. When you work with a DWI attorney, you will have a better chance of fighting these charges and protecting your future.

If you have already been convicted, you must be honest with the colleges when you apply for admissions. It may jeopardize your admission, scholarships, financial aid, or other extracurricular activities, though disclosing your record and showing you have taken steps toward your personal growth may impress them. Everyone makes mistakes in life, and if you fulfill your sentencing obligations, those in charge of admissions may see your true character.

If you haven’t been convicted, act quickly to protect your college career and your future profession. Many people try to talk their way out of a DWI arrest, but this only gives more evidence against you. Instead, be polite to the police officer and calmly state that you would like to remain silent and speak with your lawyer.
Napier Law Firm can help come to your defense and provide you with the legal guidance you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can protect you from DWI charges that could unravel your future.